T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. made an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO (on July 15, 2011); watch the full interview video here. He is Professor Emeritus of Nutrition at Cornell University and co-author of The China Study (with Thomas M. Campbell II). He and Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. are featured in Lee Fulkerson’s new documentary, Forks Over Knives: How a Plant-Based Diet Can Save America.
In an engaging discussion, Dr. Campbell discussed the underlying concepts and rationale for seeking out a plant-based diet, so vividly illustrated in the movie. It’s a story about one of the best kept secrets in health care, he said, it’s about what food can do for us to make us healthy and went on to discuss the symbolism of the movie title, that consuming a whole-foods, plant-based diet will save us from scalpels, symbolic of the consequences of eating unhealthy processed foods.
In the midst of this discussion of the poor state of health in America resultant from the standard diet of processed foods, dairy and animal products, Bill Maher cited statistics from the recently released F as in Fat Report 2011, that in 1995 only one state in the U.S. had obesity rates above 20 percent; and now in the latest report only one state (Colorado) has obesity rates below 20 percent.
Dr. Campbell said of the USDA Food Pyramid, “It’s a joke,” and he and Maher went on to discuss that government guidelines for food consumption are compromised by food producers, notably the dairy industry. Maher went on to pose the question, “Who do you think protects the public? I don’t trust the government because the government I think is bought off by the lobbyists from the food industry.” Dr. Campbell agreed, noting his firsthand experience of sitting on advisory boards and witnessing how science meets politics and information gets twisted. He stresses that we must depend upon ourselves to get the real information.
Check out the full video interview above (via Vegsource). It’s great to see the message getting out finally. The movie has brought some greater awareness, as have former President Bill Clinton’s interviews in which he revealed he adopted Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s plant-based diet to reverse his heart disease. It takes these kind of public endorsements to shift consciousness, so that more will know that we can choose to save ourselves by how we eat, or we can continue with a diet that does not sustain health, and that instead leads predictably to heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases which have become rampant in industrialized nations and developing nations that have adopted such a diet, high in animal products and dairy.
And of course there are tremendous benefits for weight loss, as I know personally. Plant-based diets from the McDougall Plan to the Ornish Spectrum Program, and more recently Rip Esselstyn Engine 2 Diet and Dr. Furman’s Eat to Live, and numerous others show us how we can eat the true healthy foods to lose weight, improve our health and not starve ourselves in the quest to be skinny.
Check out a Forks Over Knives trailer and behind-the-scenes video below.
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