Neal Barnard, M.D., part of foundation of “4-Leaf” Program

Believes in getting rid of diabetes; not in the revenue producing “disease management” prescribed by most in the medical community

Since beginning my study about the optimal diet for humans in 2003, I have read many of Dr. Barnard’s books, seen lots of his videos, and have included him in our book as one of the five medical doctors who have influenced the creation of our 4-Leaf Program.

Dr. Neal Barnard juggling an apple in his office

Like the other four doctors, Dr. Barnard didn’t learn about the power of plant-based nutrition in medical school. He was raised in a family of cattle ranchers and physicians in North Dakota and didn’t grow up eating anything remotely close to a 4-Leaf diet. His father worked on treating type 2 diabetes — Neal has worked on getting rid of it – completely. You can learn all about Neal Barnard at his own website at

After graduating from med school at George Washington University and practicing medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, he founded the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in 1985. From the website at, the mission of that organization is stated as:

PCRM is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

You can find about a dozen books on his website; the most recent one that I have purchased is Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. Like a handful of other brave medical pioneers, Neal has successfully reversed diabetes in the vast majority of those who follow his plant-based eating recommendations. Yet, on the American Diabetes Association website, there is no mention of this great news…only a lot of blah, blah, blah about “managing” your disease.

Likewise, there is no mention on the American Heart Association website about the near 100% success rate that the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn has enjoyed in reversing heart disease. You would like to think these “successful reversal” stories would be front page headlines on both sites. But, the problem is that millions of people getting healthy is simply not good for our $2.7 trillion “health care” business in this country.

It’s really not health care at all. It should be called disease care; for that’s what it’s all about. As Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell state in the new movie, Forks over Knives, if everyone shifted to a diet consisting of primarily whole plant foods, then 70 to 80% of our cost of health care would simply go away. Saving $2 trillion sounds great…but it also means saving (uh, eliminating) 30 million jobs. See my recent post on the insurance companies’ role in this process.

The bottom line in our health care system is this. There is not a single worker in the entire system that has a financial incentive for us to be healthy. They can only keep their jobs and incomes intact if all of us keep getting sick. But the word is now spreading…that you can easily take charge of your own health by making MUCH better choices in what you eat. Your own doctor and all those websites may give you lip service about better eating and exercise, but rarely do they tell you what it really takes to get the job done.

J. Morris Hicks, the "big picture" guy when it comes to what we should be eating...for our own health and so much more

J. Morris Hicks, the “big picture” guy when it comes to what we should be eating…for our own health and so much more

But there are a growing number of brave physicians in this country who are bucking the system. Along with Dr. T. Colin Campbell (Cornell scientist) and Dr. Neal Barnard; there are four more medical doctors featured in our book and on this website. Click on the “Medical Experts” category in the right hand column to find a number of posts on these fine professionals.

The foundation of our 4-Leaf Program is the “common ground” truth shared by this entire group and best stated by Dr. Campbell, “The closer we get to a diet of whole, plant-based foods, the better off we will be.”

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

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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