Bill Clinton meets The China Study

Back in July I wrote about The China Study, a book written by a PhD named T. Colin Campbell who advocates our switching to a plant-based diet. Both Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn have extended Campbell's work into the clinical arena. Their diet and lifestyle programs are being followed by many who've wished to reverse deleterious effects of the typical Western diet they'd followed for years.

Yesterday I got an email from a friend asking if I'd write a blog post on the subject and mentioning that former President Bill Clinton was now on the plan. This afternoon I Googled "Bill Clinton's Diet" and found articles and a video interview of Mr. Clinton with Wolf Blitzer. Clinton had coronary artery surgery and his stent had begun to clog up with new deposits of lipid-rich material. He wants to live to see grandchildren, so he's adopted the plant-based diet fully.

Mr. Clinton is eating veggies and fruit, drinking almond milk instead of anything dairy. He occasionally eats fish, but no other meat; he does add a protein powder to a fruit shake daily. Thus far he's lost twenty-four pounds and his image on the video I watched was clearly that of a much slimmer man than before.

I have to admit I'm impressed. Mr. Clinton stated that 82% of those who've followed a similar diet have "begun to heal." Those figures go as far back as 1986.

I think if I had coronary artery disease I'd be tempted to change my eating habits completely, as has the former President. At the moment I'm about 80 to 90% of the way there. I drink soy milk (in my  case because of lactose intolerance) and eat a lot more veggies and fruit and much less meat than I did up to May of 2009 when I went back on the diet and lifestyle plan I came up with in 1996. I did so primarily to lose more weight and I'm roughly 25 pounds lighter today.

But, in the absence of any clinical atherosclerotic artery disease, I haven't gone the next step. I still occasionally eat red meat, though much smaller portions than in past years (a quarter the size of the steaks I used to love). I had some Swiss cheese at lunchtime (about 2 ounces) and I do eat chicken and fish.

As more evidence turns up I may further alter my dietary pattern. For now, since I'm lean with a Body Mass Index (BMI )of 20.5 and haven't been pushed by chest pain or any other signs of blood vessels being clogged, I'll settle for my part-way-there status.

I do think all of us in the US and much of Europe, plus some in other parts of the world, need to move away from the Western Diet and need to get our BMIs down below 25. Now two-thirds of us in America are above this figure which marks the boundary of being overweight (anyone with a BMI over 30 is obese).

Thanks, Mr. President, for setting an example for us to follow.

7 Responses to “Bill Clinton meets The China Study”

  1. Maggie says:

    Thanks Peter. It's good to point out (as you did) that Bill Clinton had more than weigh loss to push him to the vegan diet (almost since he occasionally eats fish). Years ago my daughter went veggie and daughter-in-law vegan, but both have veered back (somewhat) to a diet more like yours. It makes family meals work better in both cases. With friends in Chattanooga, we ate in veggie restaurants and pushed a couple of in-town restaurants to offer veggie and vegan selections on their menus. This, in the fattest part of the USA in the 90s! Having a good Southernern like Clinton do this makes a startling example of eating for ones health.

  2. Peter Springberg says:

    Thanks for your comment, Maggie,
    I don't know what exercise Mr. Clinton has added to his diet, but I strongly advocate walking or going to the gym (after checking with your physician if you've been a couch potato) or parking at the far reaches of the lot at your super market). I even walk up and down the stairs to my den six or seven times a day; it's only one flight, but it's become an integral part of my exercise routine.

  3. Nice post very informative. Thanks for the info. Great article very informative.

  4. Peter Springberg says:

    Thanks, Damion.

    We're about to sign up for another veggie and fruit share with out CSA, Grant Family Farms. Now we've got two sets of neighbors interested, so we'll buy a larger share and get more variety.


  5. Travel Deals says:

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  6. Peter Springberg says:

    I have potential translators for the Indic languages, Chinese, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Hebrew. What I don't have is enough enough time to get my posts translated as I'm working on two books and finishing a capital campaign for a trheatre. I've had comments in five languages thus far, so you're right, but I think you can find a translate function.

  7. Have you got any more post similar to this or information I often follow up on? great post btw.

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