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Center for a Livable Future


April 7, 2006 

Understanding Nutrition is a Matter of Life and Death.
Dietary fat, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease: What is the hypothesis?

Audio part 1 | Audio part 2


We are what we eat, as that ancient adage states. Today, more than ever, choosing what to eat has implications far beyond our own personal health. These choices have major environmental, economic, political and social impacts. Unfortunately, nutrition has been regarded as the summation of the biological effects of a few dozen extensively studied, chemically characterized food chemicals called 'nutrients'. This concept of nutrition is extremely superficial and, ultimately very confusing. Rather, nutrition is the effect of countless food chemicals, acting in a highly integrated manner to produce comprehensive effects that, when produced by the right foods, maintain health and prevent disease. Nutritional effects represent a biological and highly dynamic symphony that has enormous ability to prevent a wide variety of diseases and even to reverse/cure advanced diseases. It is the antithesis of the current medical model that primarily drives health care costs. Food and health policy development also needs radical revision in the way that it is formulated, as the current procedures are more about creating wealth for the few at the expense of health for the many.



T. Colin Campbell


T. Colin Campbell, PhD, has spent 50 years doing experimental research on the association of diet with health, especially its association with cancer. His work has included a substantial laboratory research program and multiple field studies, especially highlighted by a nationwide survey of diet, lifestyle and health in the People's Republic of China. He spent about 20 years as a member of national and international policy-related expert panels. Together these activities have recently been summarized in a national best selling book, "The China Study. Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health" that was co-authored with his son, Thomas M. Campbell II. His present views of nutrition suggest that truly understanding the biology and practice of nutrition has the potential to transform the practice of medicine and substantially reduce health care costs.