T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Musings About Science

Science, according to an abbreviated definition of the Oxford dictionary, is the activity of observing the natural world, through systematic study and experimentation.

‘Science’ Is Up For Grabs

What does it mean to have scientific evidence on our side? It means having added value and, very likely, money in the bank, pure and simple. So, what’s wrong with that? Nothing—if we really understand what ‘science’ means and if we use it properly and wisely.

“Fed Up”. Part Two.

I read with interest the comments on my essay, Fed Up With Fed Up. I particularly welcome the challenges, especially those who thought that I understated the case against sugar. (I probably should add this commentary to that discussion but it may get lost so I am highlighting it here for more emphasis.)

Here are my statements from the article that I think are most relevant:

“However you may choose which side of this debate you prefer, I am inclined to favor the argument that sugar is problematic[1] even though the effect is less scientifically qualified than we all tend to believe.” … I am referring to published evidence wherein “… the evidence showing sugar to be a major factor in obesity is relatively weak.” I still support these statements.

I don’t disagree that there are adverse effects of refined carbohydrates (i.e., sugar). I only question the emphasis given to these presumed effects as if they are the major dietary health problem of the day. I agree with Dr. Neal Barnard who suggested that this proposition is the current “whipping boy”, as if other more comprehensive dietary concerns are much less important.

I also wrote the article because the so-called experts in the film (journalists are experts?) are those who have previously made it clear that they strongly disagree with the whole food plant based diet. I am convinced that a major intent of “Fed Up”—especially given its vigorous PR—was to counter the unusually successful movie documentary “Forks Over Knives” and its main message.

In addition to the surprising weakness of the evidence against refined carbohydrates, I have since learned that in Dr. [...]

Fed Up With “Fed Up”

In case you missed it, a new diet and health documentary movie called “Fed Up” was released in theaters on May 9. I’ve never written a movie review before—in fact, I am not much of a moviegoer. But my wife, Karen, and I decided to see this one, partly because this topic has been my career and partly because it seems that an unusually strong public relations effort was mounted to get people to see it.

But mostly, what specifically drew my attention was an op-ed piece by NY Times health science writer Mark Bittman who recommended it, so I took him at his word.

First, for the film’s credits. It mainly speaks of a problem that almost everyone agrees on—the sickening sweetness of too much sugar, especially for children. Who can disagree? But this message seems to me to be the beginning, the middle and the end of the film and it took almost two hours to hammer home what appears to be an obvious truth. A second message blames authorities (especially a few academics) for shoving so much sugar down our throats, a thought shared by many discontented citizens these days.

So, now, let’s look at some stories that failed to make it into the film. First, there is the title. It provides gravitas suggesting that the film is going to tell us what is the real cause of the big health problem that we suffer. They say it’s our excessive consumption of sugar that causes obesity that causes, in turn, other diseases, although they mostly left it to our imagination what these might be. Our really big health problem is obesity, so the film says, and if we could only eliminate this [...]

How Do You Like These Apples?

I am writing in response to George Johnson’s article in the New York Times An Apple a Day, and Other Myths dated 4/21/14. With this title, I am imagining that the New York Times is proposing to be our myth buster.
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    A Fallacious, Faulty and Foolish Discussion About Saturated Fat

A Fallacious, Faulty and Foolish Discussion About Saturated Fat

The New York Times has done it again, reporting on a summary of studies on the associations of various dietary and clinical risk factors with heart disease in a way that creates, in my opinion, more confusion than clarity.