The China Project offers a rare opportunity to study disease in a precise manner because of the unique conditions that exist in rural China. For example, about 90% of the people in rural China live their entire lives in the vicinity of their birth. They also consume diets composed primarily of locally produced foods. In this talk from Accelerating Change 2005, Professor T. Colin Campbell explains why these factors make rural China a living laboratory for the study of the complex relationship between nutrition and other lifestyle factors and degenerative diseases.
According to Campbell, the dietary patterns in China are strikingly different from Western countries, the major difference being the consumption of foods of animal origin. Animal protein intake, for example, is 10-fold greater on average in the US. than in China.
The data from the China Project suggests that what we have come to consider as "normal" illnesses of aging are really not normal. In fact, these findings indicate that the vast majority perhaps 80 to 90% of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented, at least until very old age, simply by adopting a plant-based diet.
T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. has been at the forefront of nutrition research for more than 40 years. His legacy, the China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and Project Director of the China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project. The study was the culmination of a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Campbell received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell, and served as a Research Associate at MIT. He spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair (now Emeritus). He is the recipient of several awards, both in research and citizenship, and has conducted original research investigation both in experimental animal and human studies, and has actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy.
This free podcast is from our Accelerating Change series.