T Colin Campbell is a modern day hero. He grew up farming animals and went into research to help end food insecurity by helping to maximize production of animal protein. He rose to the highest levels in academia and science, but as he learned more and dug deeper he discovered that the data did not support what he had grown up believing, what he had been taught in his prestigious education and what was supported by government policy.
So he did the only thing an ethical scientist can do.
He told the truth.
The smear campaign, and unfounded, oft-repeated lie (by those unwilling to give up animal protein) that his work has been discredited, is evidence of just how credible Campbell and his work really are.
People with a vegetarian agenda can be spotted by watching for three things, an argument based on – religion, global warming, or animal cruelty. Campbell doesn’t really do these. He was raised on a farm eating a traditional American diet. It was his practice and research as an MD that changed his mind.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. His earlier work has not been debunked so much as slandered and misrepresented, as he explains clearly if you can be bothered to read this very short book.
I’m sure Campbell would agree with me: if you want to eat a bunch of bacon and pay someone to tell you it’s good for you, rock on; it’s a semi-free country.
88 page book from a dedicated vegetarian whose works have always been biased by his dietary ideology.
Extremely fictitious "data" taken out of context, biased interpretations, and often so my made up!
The author's book The China Study has been discredited because he used selective data and this book also has misleading information.
He repeatedly insists that low carb means high protein and little veges or fruit. I have read many books about Paleo and low carb and they all suggest moderate protein and fruit and a lot of veges. Campbell is scathing about the findings of professional researchers at respected universities because they do not tally with his own views. He quotes Cordain contemptuously but avoids Cordain saying that low carb is variable and may be up to 40% carbs. The man is, apparently, a vegan and imo cannot see past his own ideology. Tens of thousands of personal testimonies on low carb forums prove this way of eating to be beneficial in every way.
An excellent short presentation of critiques of the most common low-carb diets now being promoted. There's so much conflicting input/noise about nutrition in circulation right now, that's it takes a serious reading project with determined study to figure out what to believe. Campbell's summary makes this easier by being specific and brief.
I'm a professional statistician who worked most of my career in research design and data analysis. I've spent a lot of time reviewing and cross-checking the claims of incorrect data usage by Campbell. I find no basis for the claim that Campbell has been “discredited”.
Claims of flawed data use by Campbell seem to derive ultimately from blog posts by Denise Minger. At the time, Minger was perhaps 23, had studied English Literature, and had no experience in research or statistical analysis. I find her criticisms of Campbell's China Study analysis to contain fundamental conceptual flaws. During critiques of other nutritional writers, she has sometimes made really basic data handling errors... getting columns in a table lined up incorrectly before generating graphs, etc. And then she offers sharp and sarcastic rebukes based on her erroneous graphical results. This is not trustworthy statistical criticism.
Because of the workings of the blogosphere, Minger's critiques got widespread attention among groups hostile to vegetarian diets. But wide coverage doesn't mean that her critique was correct.
Regarding charges that Campbell doesn't respect professional researchers... Campbell IS a professional researcher, and it's his professional duty to speak his understanding even if it differs from that of other professionals. It would make little sense to constrain professional researchers to never disagree with other researchers.
The charge that Campbell's interpretations can't be trusted because he is a vegan mix up cause and effect. Campbell started as a mid-west, meat-eating farm boy. His research was NOT driven to it's conclusions by previously established diet preferences. The situation instead was that his diet changes were driven by his changed understanding of nutrition. Campbell is acting like he personally believes his recommendations, and that seems ethical and proper.
I looked up several of the research papers Campbell references. In every case I found his representations to be accurate.
I've found NO long term studies that document improvement in overall medical health from following diets such as the Paleo. The typical focus is instead primarily or only on short-term weight loss results, which isn't the same. Ornish and Esselstyn, by contrast have both obtained clear physical documentation of reversals of severe cardiac problems with a low-fat, plant based diet. I've seen no research documenting similar strong results with diets like Paleo and Atkins.
Regarding Campbell's statements that low carb diets are typically high protein diets... Loren Cordain in his book (The Paleo Diet) indicates that you should eat as much protein as you want. He says that if you eat too much, you'll get sick from protein toxicity, and that is OK... just readjust your protein intake downwards naturally after you get sick. Cordain states that protein toxicity occurs when protein intake reaches about 35% of calorie intake. Example diets in his book contain over 30% of calories from protein. A diet that recommends eating protein to the maximum that doesn't actually make you sick is literally about as “high protein” as you can get.
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