The Health of Our Nation

The health of our nation

The Health of Our Nation

Do American’s embrace the fact that we are responsible for our own health, or do we as consumers continue to feign the obvious that is at the end of our fork? Ignorance regarding what we eat, how we live, what and whom we believe [government, media, doctors, drug companies, paid food and drug industry lobbyist] has led us down a path towards physical disease and early death.

Research has pointed out that the generation born since the year 2000 will be the first in our country’s history that we have a shorter life expectancy than the generation before it. Obesity rates among adults and children are at an all time high. Type II Diabetes [formerly called “Adult Onset Diabetes”], lost that moniker when children as young as 4 started showing up in emergency rooms around the country, coupled with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Fast food restaurants, coffee shops, easily accessed processed foods have provided an over-abundance of “food” that is high calorie, high sugar, high saturated fat, high protein, while providing low fiber,, low or absent anti-oxidants, low or missing vitamins/minerals . This “stew” of non-nutritive “food” that has contributed to an over-abundance of “mal-nourished” yet obese Americans [we are not alone-Canada is not far behind].

A single public school lunch can provide a day’s worth of sodium, sugar and saturated fat in one sitting. Vegetables and fresh fruits are almost non-existent in the average American’s diet. In the movie “Diet for a New America”, by John Robbins in the late 1980’s there was a segment in which a woman was interviewed regarding her vegetable intake, and the only serving of vegetables she had that day was the “corn in the corn dog”.

The economic impact is breath taking. American’s lose millions of workdays per year due to heart disease, stroke, and complications from Diabetes, hypertension, medications for these conditions that have side effects. Millions more American’s suffer from back problems due to obesity and poor muscle tone. Over 100,000 American’s die each year as a result of doctor prescribed medications [Dr. Pamela Popper, ND, Ph.D.] in her lecture provided some excellent examples of death and disabilities from drugs. 1,2

Type II Diabetes [over 8 percent of the population according to The American Diabetes Association 2007] -which makes up over 90 percent of all Diabetes cases in America is preventable through dietary choices and physical activity. 3

The cost in treating Type II Diabetes in the United States per year $174 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007.4

This figure does not include the related costs for diseases related to Diabetes, which goes further into the 10’s of billions of dollars annually.

Drugs are used to treat symptoms, not the underlying cause of disease as Dr. Colin Campbell pointed out in his lecture, as well as Dr. Popper]. Doctors in America are taught to treat a symptom, whether it is joint pain, back ache, stomach ailment with a prescription pad-over 95 percent of the time according to a variety of books and published studies. A battery of tests can and most often are also ordered to “rule out” potential conditions.

Seeking for the underlying cause of a condition, which should be first when sitting down with a patient or client is almost always over-looked. What we are eating. The concept of the foods we put in our bodies for years was dismissed as a cause of disease. Dr. Campbell discusses the diseases of “Affluence” [heart disease, obesity, cancer] in his studies in China and in the United States as being based on an animal based diet.

A Powerful Solution to America’s Health Care Crisis and Improvement of the Current Health Care System

American’s hold the answer to our health care dilemma, it is not universal health care or cradle to grave assurances that the government will be there to dispense pills, decide which order of preference you will have to treat a disease based on your age, and caused in large part by the choices we have made concerning lifestyle. It is true that millions of legal citizens do not have health insurance and it is also true that many choose not to have health insurance-college students for example many times chose not to have health insurance, even young working adults in their 20’ and 30’s many times opt not to have health insurance.

Currently our government does not offer incentives for preventative health care. In New Jersey for example, massage therapy is now taxed as well as health club memberships, which is the wrong approach again that our government has taken to making access to the benefits of exercise and body work more readily available at reasonable rates

The real answer to improving our health care system in America must be multi-faceted to be effective, beginning with subsidies provided by the government in the food industry.

Wish List of Places to Start:

1. Begin with elementary schools, in the classroom and lunchroom to educate students about fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts and legumes. Offer healthy alternatives for lunch & snacks in both elementary and high school.

2. Revamp WIC [Women, Infants, and Children] from dairy handout s [5 pound blocks of cheese], to fruits and vegetables, with classes on how to prepare healthy and low cost meals within the budgets of these individuals.

3. Remove junk foods from acceptable items that may be purchased with food stamps [just as cigarettes and alcohol are not covered]. Still help those in need of public assistance-just make sure it is sweet and white potatoes instead of potato chips that are covered!

4. End subsidies for dairy farmers, who receive millions each year in taxpayer’s money, and many times end up dumping millions of gallons of toxic dairy products down the drain and into the water table.

5. End subsidies for ethanol-one of the biggest scans going today. Raising corn to make ethanol, which takes two gallons of gasoline to produce one gallon of ethanol.

6. Remove government employees from the payrolls of drug companies and large food and chemical companies as consultants. [a true conflict of interest.

7. Ban the Dairy, Egg, Chicken, and Beef boards from donation money to colleges that teach nutrition for those individuals who become dieticians. [This would stop the propaganda flow that is indoctrinated into future health care professionals].

8. Gut and start over with the Food and Drug Administration. Separate all ties from industry, banning government officials from taking jobs within the industry that are pledged to regulate to protect consumers. This would prevent favorable legislation from being handed down that hurt consumers, while benefiting the food and drug industries.

Again, there must be a fresh start somewhere and by no means is this only suggestions that can and could improve American’s health from a national platform.

Former President Bill Clinton’s embrace of eating a more plant based diet has truly thrust this topic into the limelight to provide a much needed shot in the arm to combat the propaganda that is “fed” to the media to be regurgitated to the public in print and on television from the food and drug industries.

Bringing together the continued efforts of the Colin Campbell foundation, Physicians Committee for Responsible Nutrition, and other organizations and groups to schools, churches, etc. will have probably the greatest impact on changing American’s health during the coming years.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An Ounce of Prevention is truly worth a Pound of Cure”. In the case of America’s health care future it could mean the difference between life and an early death, and untold billions of wasted dollars that could be better spent elsewhere, or saved by American’s for their retirement, etc. The numbers are striking as to what it costs for by-pass surgery [including hospital stay, drugs, etc.], not including lost work productivity, quality of life, etc.

Cancer is almost a choice-I do not take this comment lightly. The research on diet and the link to cancer is building like a Tsunami. We will either catch this wave towards better health, or continue to accept established dogma and be swept under the wave. The cost in dollars and untold suffering for individuals afflicted with cancer, and their family members cannot be fully understood. Yet in our country the likelihood of developing cancer has reached almost epidemic proportions as at least one member of a family four will face it in their lifetime.

Treating the underlying cause with proper nutrition based on a plant-based diet would dramatically change the odds in American’s favor to prevent this disease.

Identify the relationship between animal protein consumption and tumor development in experimental animals.

In a letter to the editor Dr. Campbell stated that a diet consisting of animal protein intake using casein-a milk protein] greater than 10 percent of the total caloric intake daily for laboratory rats caused a “triggering of tumor growth”. 5 Dr. Campbell, et al., demonstrated that tumor growth in rats was greatly enhanced by diets containing >10% animal protein (casein) and was completely repressed with either 5% animal protein or >20% plant protein. 6-7

Dr Campbell was able to demonstrate and then replicate that animal protein effectively depressed the activity of the major enzyme complex responsible for carcinogen activation, and for the subsequent life-long development of full-blown tumors. 8-12

This effect also existed both for chemically and virally induced cancers and was explained, in 1972 by accelerated cell replication as well as by a variety of cellular and enzymatic mechanisms. Dr Campbell was able to turn on and off tumor development, both in its early and late stages of development. 5, 12-13

Shortly after the identification of the IGFs [interleukin growth factors], Dr. Campbell’s team was able to observe that the hepatitis B virus–transfected mice and that the tumor-enhancing effects of dietary protein were closely associated with a greater hepatic synthetic synthesis of IGF-2 but not of IGF-1. 14-15

Describe the initiation and promotion phases of cancer development and the influence food has on “fertilizing” cancer growth

Dr. Campbell is quoted in his book The China Study; “These experiments also demonstrated that the body could ‘remember’ early carcinogen insults, even though they might then lie dormant with low protein intake. That is, exposure to aflatoxin left a genetic ‘imprint’ that remained dormant with 5% dietary protein until… later when this imprint reawakened… with 20% dietary protein.

“In simple terms, the body holds a grudge. It suggests that if we are exposed in the past to a carcinogen that initiates a bit of cancer that remains dormant, this cancer can still be ‘reawakened’ by bad nutrition some time later. These studies showed that cancer development is modified by relatively modest changes in protein consumption.”

Cancer has been found to have 3 distinct stages: Initiation–Development–Progression. Dr. Campbell describes the three stages from the analogy as follows: Initiation is planting seeds in the soil, promotion is when the grass starts to grow and progression is when the grass gets completely out of control, invading the driveway, the shrubbery and the sidewalk. 17

According to Dr. Campbell the initiation stage can take place in a very short period of time, even minutes. 18

It is the time required for the chemical carcinogen to be consumed, absorbed into the blood, transported into the cells, changed into its active product, bonded to DNA and passed on then to the daughter cells. When the new daughter cells are formed, the process is complete. These new cells will now pass on their genetically damaged cells forever, giving rise to the potential of causing cancer.

The second growth stage is called the promotion stage in which the newly formed cancer-prone cells are ready to grow and multiply until they become a visibly detectable cancer [s]. The promotion stage occurs over a much greater time period, taking years to develop in humans. During this time the cancer-prone cells grow and multiply in the proper environment within the body [diet]. However, this promotion stage can be virtually stopped in its tracks. Dr. Campbell and other researchers have found that the promotion stage is reversible, depending on whether the early cancer growth is given the right conditions in which to grow.

Diet becomes a critical factor in the promotion stage, as a diet can either promote or reverse cancer cells according to the research. “Promoters”, dietary choices including refined sugars, excessive alcohol consumption, saturated fats, high animal protein intake, high casein intake [from dairy products], fried foods, foods containing trans fatty acids, high sodium, low fiber foods are all “promoters” of cancer cell growth.

“Anti-promoters” of cancer cell growth include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high fiber foods [both digestible and non-digestible fibers, highly vegetable fats and proteins from seeds, nuts, legumes and beans. Clean drinking water [fluoride and chlorine free], limited to no animal proteins have been found to shrink cancer cells, placing them into a dormant state where they can stay indefinitely.

Dr. Campbell discussed the development of “Foci cells or cluster cells that grow into tumors. This growth or promotion stage is almost entirely dependent on how much animal protein was consumed during their animal experiments. 19

The studies showed that cancer development is modified by modest changes in protein consumption. Foci cluster cells did not develop up to about 10 percent of dietary protein [from animals-this research was revised in recent findings and discussed in Dr. Campbell’s lectures and posted at: http://www.tcolincampbell.org , a diet consisting of 5 percent or greater from animal source proteins cause a further progression of Foci cell growth. 20, 21

Or be reawakened by a return to the former “Promoter” –Standard American Diet [that is high in animal fat/protein/sugar/sodium/caffeine and low in whole grains and other “anti-promoter” nutrients as mentioned above.

Author: Mark J. Occhipinti, Ph.D, ND


1. The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000 article written by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH,

2. The Centers for Disease Control released a study earlier this year showing major increases in accidental drug overdose deaths across most of the country (up 62.5% from 1999 to 2004).

3. New England Journal of Medicine (September 13, 2001) suggests that as much as 90% of type 2 diabetes in women is due to lifestyle or behavioral choices, and could be prevented by the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.

4. Data from the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (the most recent year for which data is available)

5. LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dietary protein, growth factors, and cancer T Colin Campbell 810 Fairway Drive Oxford, NC 27565 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 6, 1667, June 2007

6. Dunaif GE, Campbell TC. Relative contribution of dietary protein level and aflatoxin B1 dose in generation of presumptive preneoplastic foci in rat liver. J Natl Cancer Inst 1987;78:365–9.[Medline]

7. Youngman LD, Campbell TC. Inhibition of aflatoxin B1-induced gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase positive (GGT+) hepatic preneoplastic foci and tumors by low protein diets: evidence that altered GGT+ foci indicate neoplastic potential. Carcinogenesis 1992;13:1607–13.[Abstract/Free Full Text]

8. Hayes JR, Campbell TC. Effect of protein deficiency on the inducibility of the hepatic microsomal drug-metabolizing enzyme system. III. Effect of 3-methylcholanthrene induction on activity and binding kinetics. Biochem Pharmacol 1974;23:1721–32.[Medline]

9. Hayes JR, Mgbodile MUK, Campbell TC. Effect of protein deficiency on the inducibility of the hepatic microsomal drug-metabolizing enzyme system. I. Effect on substrate interaction with cytochrome P-450. Biochem Pharmacol 1973;22:1005–14.[Medline]

10. Mgbodile MUK, Campbell TC. Effect of protein deprivation of male weanling rats on the kinetics of hepatic microsomal enzyme activity. J Nutr 1972;102:53–60.[Abstract/Free Full Text]

11. Mgbodile MUK, Hayes JR, Campbell TC. Effect of protein deficiency on the inducibility of the hepatic microsomal drug-metabolizing enzyme system. II. Effect on enzyme kinetics and electron transport system Biochem Pharmacol 1973;22:1125–32.[Medline]

12. Appleton BS, Campbell TC. Inhibition of aflatoxin-initiated preneoplastic liver lesions by low dietary protein. Nutr Cancer 1982;3:200–6.[Medline]

13. Youngman LD, Campbell TC. High protein intake promotes the growth of preneoplastic foci in Fischer #344 rats: evidence that early remodeled foci retain the potential for future growth. J Nutr 1991;121:1454–61.[Abstract/Free Full Text]

14. Youngman LD. The growth and development of aflatoxin B1-induced preneoplastic lesions, tumors, metastasis, and spontaneous tumors as they are influenced by dietary protein level, type, and intervention. PhD dissertation. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1990.

15. Cheng Z, Hu J, King J, Jay G, Campbell TC. Inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma development in hepatitis B virus transfected mice by low dietary casein. Hepatology 1997;26:1351–4.[Medline]

16. Hu J, Cheng Z, Chisari FV, Vu TH, Hoffman AR, Campbell TC. Repression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transgene and HBV-induced liver injury by low protein diet. Oncogene 1997;15:2795–801.[Medline]

17. The China Study pp 48

18. Ibid pp 49

19. Ibid pp 54

20. Ibid pp 57

21. http://www.tcolincampbell.org/




Share this article
Article Categories: