Obesity, Diabetes and Nutrition — Comments by T Colin Campbell, PhD

Dr. Campbell was the principle investigator for the largest nutrition study in history, commonly known as The China Study, a joint study project with Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. It received major funding from the National Institute of Health and the Chinese government.

In his book, The China Study, Dr. Campbell documents the results they found.

Source: – The China Study – by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M Campbell II


Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form, often accompanies obesity.

Like most chronic diseases, diabetes shows up more often in some parts of the world than in others. … It has also been well documented that those populations with low rates of diabetes, eat different diets, then those populations with high rates of diabetes.

The strongest association, they found with diabetes was excess weight. Populations, eating the most “Western” type of diet also had the highest cholesterol levels, which in turn was strongly associated with the rate of diabetes.

All of these findings support the idea that both across and within populations, high fiber, whole, plant-based foods protect against diabetes, and high fat, high-protein, animal-based foods promote diabetes.

All the research cited above was observational and an observed association, even if frequently seen, may only be an incidental association that masks the real cause-effect relationship of the environment (including diet) and disease. There is, however, also research of the “controlled” or intervention variety. This involves changing the diets of people who already have either full-blown Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or mild diabetic symptoms (impaired glucose tolerance).

(He reports on a variety of studies which show very positive results by changing diets, and then makes this statement –)

As you can see by these findings, we can beat diabetes.

Imagine what would happen if people fully adopted the healthiest diet: a whole foods, plant-based diet. I strongly suspect that virtually all Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented.