Nutrition expert T. Colin Campbell describes the new partnership between his plant-based food model and the Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS): “We are going to make history!”
Dr. Campbell and his documentary-making son Nelson made this presentation to over 1,000 people at the First Christian Church on Thursday, April 14. He noted, “The New York Times put me in the spotlight 25 years ago because what I advocated was basically a foreign language in the field of health. Now it is so respected I am giving my over six hundredth lecture since 2005.”
His primary claim-to-fame came that year as co-author of “The China Study” with another son, Thomas, a physician; T. Colin is professor-emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University. They conclude that those who consume a whole-food, plant-based diet can escape, reduce, or reverse many diseases based on a 20-year study in China that indicates those regions with a high consumption of animal-based food suffered greater death rates than those who eat plant foods. “The China Study” sold to date over 1.5 million copies, and Campbell in 2013 wrote as well “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition.”
In the plant-based concept, nutrition is the combined result of the interaction of countless foods because “your body integrates everything,” Dr. Campbell explains. “It all works together, while most medicine only concentrates on one aspect of the equation. The profession refers to this narrow focus as ‘good science’ because it sells.” He warns against supplements, advises that there are no animal-based foods that provide more nutrients than those in plants, and that nutrients can control the adverse effects of noxious chemicals while preventing, halting, or reversing numerous diseases.
Good nutrition creates good health in every aspect, since all parts of the human body are interconnected. “Everyone wants that one single magic cure but that is not how nature works,” advises Dr. Campbell. “Remember every time you consume animal-based food, you not only suffer its negative consequences, but displace the layer of proper nutrition you should eat. Once you transition to a plant-based diet, many people feel the positive aspects in as soon as 10 days.”
Food as Medicine
Its partnership with the Lee Memorial Health System is the advent of “Food as Medicine.” Campbell emphasizes, “The Lee Memorial Health System is the largest in the country that will adapt its practices by implementing proper nutrition as medication. This is unprecedented. A physician is in charge to monitor changes to your blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and other measurable indicators. They will prescribe plant-based nutrition just like any other medication, document and analyze the clinical data, then report its positive effects to insurance agencies to one day qualify as a reimbursement to patients and healthcare providers. The eventual outcome will be a business model to make and sustain revenue initiatives that will produce significant savings for the healthcare community.”
Another son, Nelson, is the director and co-writer of the documentary “PlantPure Nation.” He refers to the LMHS collaborative as a “model program that will one day revolutionize medicine throughout our nation and beyond. The key is to create a local movement that encapsulates an entire community, and that already exists here through successful initiatives such as HealthyLee. The movement calls for establishing neighborhood pods throughout the county, as well as bringing healthy foods and relevant information to ‘nutrition islands’ previously bypassed by society.” HealthyLee is a grassroots Lee County initiative that works as one to improve our region’s quality of life, reduce healthcare and related costs through focused research, direct community input to improve nutrition and active lifestyles, and enhanced coordination of medical record services.
Nelson calls the collaboration with the Lee Memorial Health System “so far out of the box you cannot even see the box anymore! The support of the Health System is the difference because it is so interconnected to all of Southwest Florida. This is the first time a healthcare provider this size voluntarily stepped forward to promote nutrition as medicine. We will eventually incorporate thousands of people into this, in a transparent format on a massive scale of social learning. It is the most unique medical partnership anywhere in the United States.”
The greatest health misconception, Nelson concludes, is that “most people have no idea how much control they have over their own health based on proper nutrition, not only how they can prevent but reverse so many conditions, based solely on what they eat. It is essential to stress that plant-based foods are delicious, as any diet that requires sacrificing great taste will fail. My father put it best: the partnership between PlantPure Nation and the Lee Memorial Health System will make history!”
The debut of the 10-day “Jumpstart to a Healthier Life” program will be at Gulf Coast Medical Center on Wednesday, May 4, at 6 p.m. Brian Taschner, M.D., Lee physician group cardiologist, facilitates the event and answers questions. Should you choose to participate, the fee is $299 and includes 20 entrees delivered to your door, lab testing before and after, Internet-based support, and the PlantPure Nation cookbook and movie DVD, among other benefits. The May 4 session is free, but reservations are necessary at 239-424-3121. For more information on HealthyLee, see HealthyLee.com.
1: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, nutrition expert and co-author of, “The China Study.”
2: Nelson Campbell, director and co-writer of the documentary “PlantPure Nation.”