Thursday, February 18, 2016

The China Study

So, what is the China Study I hear you ask! Well, it's a reasonably long text about nutrition and heath developed from a series of studies over a number of years. The big question is: Is it true? If it is, then there are some very serious and potentially life-changing decisions to be made by all of us about what we eat.

The book details a lot of information, which is fine but it is only presented from one perspective as you might expect and that perspective soon becomes pretty clear. Animal protein is the enemy, go vegetarian to avoid the major diseases of a typical Western diet.

If you do a quick search of the internet you will find plenty of counter arguments suggesting that the conclusions drawn ion the book are far from exact and even possibly unreliable. In the end you will either have to decide for yourself, based on doing a lot more research and background reading, or you will decide to trust the authors or dismiss them.

But before you do, you might want to do two things. First, you might want to dip into the book and read it. Second, you might want to think about the broader issues of diet and lifestyle that seem to precipitate the health issues we face and ask your own questions. Perhaps the book's conclusion are too narrow, too unproven, but to deny that our way of eating is linked to the state of our health would be to bury our heads in the proverbial sand.

Some of the research quoted is fascinating, and if true it is certainly cause for rethinking our eating habits. Generally we al know that a diet needs to be balanced, that fibre is important, fruit and vegetable are essential and that calorie dense, nutrient poor foods are bad for us. We just don't know what data is reliable and who to believe. Even the 5-a-day principle has no discernible scientific basis that I can track down. There's even talk about it ought to be 7 or 10.

So if the China Study does only one thing and that thing is to make us all think more carefully about how and what we eat, then that's a good thing. Maybe the jury is still out about the veracity of the data and the conclusions, but the fact remains that we are dying from diseases that are directly linked to our eating habits and lifestyle choices. Something needs to change, and it needs to change pretty soon.

No comments: