The meat consumption of Americans is very high and this is negatively impacting people’s health as well as the environment. Meat has been linked with many of the major chronic illnesses that are currently the leading causes of death among adults. Many people have seen this correlation and that is one of the reasons why veganism has grown by 500 percent in the last 5 years. Reducing meat and advocating a mostly plant based vegetarian diet is something that people need to do for themselves, and for earth.There are many people who will not hear or believe it is possible that a diet with animal products could could be detrimental to your health. And while there are many different thought, studies, and ideas on the subject the largest and most comprehensive study ever done on the correlation between diet and health was The China Study in 1984. Because my research topic is on diet I decided to learn more about this study. 

The China Study looked at the different diets in 65 countries of china covering 6500 people, and researched how the lifestyle, diet, and disease of the people in each area were affected. They took blood, urine, and food samples as well as a questionnaire and a 3 day diet log. After years of analysing their data they found that nutrition plays a huge role in health and disease. They saw that western diseases tended to cluster together in more urban areas. This was attributed to the difference in diet between the rural parts of china and the more westernized cities. The study found that the best diet for human health was a whole food plant based diet for many reasons including that plant-based foods are linked to lower cholesterol; animal-based foods are linked to higher cholesterol, animal-based foods are linked to higher breast cancer rates; plant-based foods are linked to lower breast cancer rates,  fiber and antioxidants from plants are linked to lower risk of cancers of digestive tract, plant-based diets and active lifestyles result in healthy weight, so western diseases are a result of animal-based diets. They found that once more rural places began to modernize and adopt western diets different than the mainly plant based diets of their ancestors their health began to decline and the diseases that were once very uncommon begin to appear more regularly. The study was published by Colin Campell. He is a biochemist that specializes in the effect of nutrition on long term health. He was raised on a dairy farm thinking milk was the perfect drink. As he grew and began studying he saw the he found this was not the case. After they found the results he cut out meat and dairy and began advocating for others to do so. Eventually he wrote a book about the results and has been a large advocate for vegan and vegetarianism.

 

https://nutritionstudies.org/the-china-study/

 

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/china-study-cheat-sheet-10-things-you-need-to-know/

CC BY-SA 4.0 The China Study by NIki is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Kira 4 months ago

    Niki,
    this topic is a much disputed one and has been for as long as I can remember. I have heard a lot about how a plant based diet is the best for our health, and although I think it’s possible, I also don’t think that matters much to most individuals. I personally would take a pork burrito with large quantities of cheese over a salad any day. Also, it is arguable that we are meant to eat meat as we have bodily structures that imply carnivorous eating habits. But yeah, I do think this is a pretty neat topic and I am looking forward to reading the rest of your works.

  2. Mae 4 months ago

    Hi Niki,
    I thought your post was very interesting to read. I agree that it is difficult to help people understand that meat is not good for you. We are taught from a very young age that meat is a necessity to gain sufficient muscle mass and be healthy, but that is simply not true. If you are interested in this, and want to find out more, you should watch the documentary, “What the Health”. It’s about veganism and why being on a plant based diet is not only good for your personal health, but the earth too. Here is the link if you want it:
    http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/
    Best of luck,
    Mae.

  3. Ceceli 4 months ago

    Niki,
    your topic is extremely interesting. It is not surprising to me that our high meat consumption is linked to chronic illnesses. The china study you mention sounds really interesting. Its definitely cool to learn that plant-based diets are better for us. I found this website about meat consumption in America that might be interesting. https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livable-future/projects/meatless_monday/resources/meat_consumption.html Can’t wait to read more about your topic!

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