What’s the real story behind Bill Clinton’s health turnaround?


Unfortunately, you won’t find it in the New York Times.

Clinton before following the advice of Esselstyn, Campbell and Ornish.

Clinton before following the advice of Esselstyn, Campbell and Ornish.

But you will find it here. Last week, Dr. Mark Hyman was in the news from coast-to-coast. For what?

For publicizing the fact that he has convinced Bill Clinton to stop being a vegan.

Like so many celebrity doctors out there, Hyman never gets real clear about what people should be eating. They always seem to leave the door open for their patients to indulge in what most people really want to eat—meat, dairy and fish.

He and other celebrity doctors routinely promote the consumption of lean cuts of meat, low fat dairy and fish—the kinds of foods that are featured in all the high protein “diets of the month.” Atkins, Dukan, South Beach, Paleo and others. But here’s the deal:

Even if the Paleo diet was the absolute healthiest of all possible diets for humans (which it definitely isn’t)—it doesn’t really matter—because it is grossly unsustainable for very much longer. Requiring such enormous amounts of land and water per calorie, we’d need three planet Earths if all seven billion of us chose to eat that way. —J. Morris Hicks

But that doesn’t matter to the celebrity docs who’re only out to please their power patients like Bill and Hillary. They can’t be bothered by the fact that the raising of livestock is the leading cause of global warming. Besides, what chance does Hillary stand to get elected president if there are rumors floating around that she and Bill might be vegan?

Time out for INTEGRITY. Meanwhile, we have medical doctors like Jim Conway, an orthopedic surgeon who knows from personal experience—all about the power of whole, plant-based foods to reverse chronic diseases like our nation’s #1 killer, heart disease. And he makes it CRYSTAL clear for all of his patients. You see, he’s more interested in promoting their health than he is in winning elections or keeping the meat, dairy and pharmaceutical industries happy.

Three minutes with Dr. Conway that could save your life

The above video was taken in October of 2013 at the first International Plant-Based Healthcare Conference in Naples, FL. The second annual conference will be held in San Diego in September of 2014. For more information, visit pbnhc.com (Esselstyn, Campbell and Ornish will all be there, but not Hyman)

Confusion over clarity. The referenced NY Times article below states that Dr. Hyman began working with the Clintons in 2004, saying “One of the first things Dr. Hyman did was to wean Mr. Clinton off his previously prescribed vegan diet.” The article went on to imply that Mr. Clinton experienced most of his widely-reported weight loss and health improvement while following the dietary advice of Dr. Hyman.

Bill Clinton in April 2014

Bill Clinton in April 2014

Not so fast. Fact: Mr. Clinton candidly reported on CNN with Wolf Blitzer in 2010 that he had started eating plant-based after being influenced by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Cleveland Clinic), Dr. T. Colin Campbell (Cornell) and Dr. Dean Ornish, who had worked in the Clinton White House back in the nineties.

And these three men did not call the diet that they all espoused vegan. They called it a whole food, plant-based diet—a diet that has been known to reverse heart disease and type 2 diabetes in over 90% of the patients.

What’s the difference between whole food, plant-based and vegan? The former describes what you ARE eating; the latter, what you’re NOT eating. After all, one could eat nothing but Diet Coke and potato chips and call himself a vegan. Obviously, that would not be a very healthy diet.

The Bottom Line. The New York Times has done us all a disservice. They’ve not reported the full story—AND they have implied that the whole food, plant-based diet prescribed by Esselstyn, Campbell and Ornish was NOT the diet that resulted in the the former president’s remarkable health turnaround. I suspect that this is all a bunch of political maneuvering to help get Hillary elected. Let me know what you think.NY Times Logo

For me, I’ll take my health advice from the real heroes in this story—the three mentioned in the above paragraph AND the amazing Dr. Jim Conway (in the video) who is now busy teaching ALL of his orthopedic patients the complete truth about nutrition.

One more thing. I have referred to Dr. Hyman as a celebrity doc in this article. Like Mehmet Oz, Andrew Weil, David Agus and others, they take the middle of the road approach, still eat lean meat/low fat dairy & fish themselves and tell people mostly what they want to hear while being “comfortably unaware” of the big picture connection between food choices, health, environment and sustainability. The net result is just more confusion for the innocent public. Want some clarity from the medical community? Visit pbnhc.com.

A special thanks to Mitchell Castell for bringing this story to my attention on 4-20-14.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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6 Responses to What’s the real story behind Bill Clinton’s health turnaround?

  1. Jim Savarese says:

    We can’t expect anything good from the media, newspapers, television hosts, etc. . . otherwise we all would know about a whole foods plant based diet, the human diet, the starchivore diet, many many years ago. You can’t trust the government or the politicians either. We are so fortunate to hear the voices of the plant based whole foods core, John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, Pam Popper, Joel Fuhrman, . . . We are more fortunate if we have read their works and tried the diet they recommend and then speak about the power of this diet. We are even more fortunate when we realize that this diet saves the environment and our economy by greatly reducing the cost of health care if widely adopted. Think of all those healthy, trim, beautiful people, instead of the fat sick ones. I’m still getting healthier as I’m one of the lucky ones. Many people when introduced to these concepts immediately reject them, but they do so from ignorance. And we all have to be careful not to be swayed back to an unhealthy unsustainable diet by the misinformation that surrounds us. And then there’s the Pleasure Trap (Doug Lisle, Alan Goldhamer authors) that so may people fall into and never escape.

  2. Monica says:

    I hadn’t heard about Clinton either, and I’m surprised, although if I’m being honest, just last nigth I saw a clip of him in Phoenix with his daughter and he looked like crap, and wondered what happened to him. Well, now I know. If he’ll need more surgeries, he’ll have to thank Dr. Hyman.

  3. Leo S. says:

    The story and autopsy report on Florence Joyner, the world’s fastest woman who died at 38, makes interesting reading. How many asians and blacks are unaware that their cultures are lactose intolerant and might do better by giving up dairy products rather than tryng to treat symptoms with medications?
    http://notmilk.com/deb/flojoms.html

  4. While it’s always possible the NYT author has simply communicated incorrectly, without proper research, it’s important for me to remind myself (so I remain mindful in my behavior) that Dr. H does not have the long-range experience (nor the scientific success, nor the coronary artery disease experience) of Dr. Esselstyn, nor does Dr. H specialize in clinical nutrition (like Dr. Greger at nutritionfacts.org ). If Dr. H did, he would listen to Dr. William Clifford Roberts, who has been editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology for 25 years (and who is also head of Baylor’s Cardiovascular Institute, has authored 1,300+ scientific publications, and 12+ cardiology textbooks). What would Dr. H’s ears hear from his elders whom remain on the cutting edge? The same thing that one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health orgs, Kaiser Permanente, has told all 17,000+ of their MD’s: Advise all patients to eat a plant-based diet.

  5. Anne says:

    Jim, I am so disappointed to hear this news of President Clinton. I had not heard this in the news. Whether this is politically motivated or not he can not mess around with his health. I would think now, that he will be a grandparent his health would be all that more important. I feel like for every step forward this way of thinking takes three steps backwards. I agree with Joan, these celebrity doctors only confuse and jump on board the latest craz. I do not watch any of them. I think they do an injustice to the general public.

    Keep up the good fight.

  6. Joanne Irwin says:

    I read about Hyman’s interaction with the Clinton’s and felt disgust. Once again, politics and power rear their ugly heads. The Beef and Dairy industries are indulging in a hearty chuckle as they salivate at the prospect of renewed publicity leading to increased profits. How tragic! These celebrity docs, and I include Dr. Oz in that group, appear to be after one thing – self-aggrandizement. For instance, Oz has Dr. Fuhrman on his show and praises his work and credentials. Then he’ll bring on a Paleo guy and toot his horn. What does Dr. Oz believe anyway? As for Hyman’s work with the Clinton’s, let’s see how Clinton maintains his health over the coming months! If he returns to the addictive tastes of animal protein, his heart might start balking at the change.
    Yesterday I shopped in a trendy old-fashioned type grocery store in Naples where a vendor was sampling his ‘exceptional’ olive oil. When asked to take a bread dipping taste, I declined and proceeded to share my feelings about olive oil. He, of course, vehemently disagreed, and spoke of Mary Enig’s writings. (She’s part of the Weston Price Foundation which has links to the Dairy Industry.) I asked him if he heard of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his famous study at the Cleveland Clinic? His response, “Oh, the Cleveland Clinic and that heart guy!” I smiled and wished him all the best.
    There are times to debate and times to walk away. This was a time to walk away. However, we need to keep our message and concerns in the forefront. Jim, your fab blog is doing that. We’re waging a war of sorts; a war on behalf of our precious planet, and for the well-being of future generations. Sadly, prevention takes a back seat to crisis management in this country. We see that in every arena. Jim, time for a letter to Bill and Hillary!
    Blessed Easter, everyone!

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