“Audacious” Campbell and Esselstyn on CNN — Rescheduled

“The Last Heart Attack” is now scheduled for Saturday, 8-27, at 8 p.m. ET

But with Hurricane Irene expected to approach the New York City area this Saturday night, there is a real possibility that the “breaking news” associated with that monster storm may force this crucial program to be re-scheduled again. Actually, the fact that it was re-scheduled at all might turn out to be a good thing — as it gave more people time to hear about it, thereby leading to an even bigger audience. If it does not air during prime time at 8 p.m.; you can tape it later at 11 p.m. or at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning; I am setting my DVR for all three — just in case. Of course, being in the path of Irene, my DVR may have no power or cable connection. Stay tuned.

Please read all of his words carefully. This may be the very first time that a member of the official news establishment has made such a bold statement about the food that we eat. Hats off to CNN.

Millions of people have already seen a few clips from Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s interviews with Clinton and Esselstyn — either on CNN or YouTube — and the positive energy is building every day for seeing that entire one-hour show. Want a sneak preview? Here are a few words from Dr. Gupta that I just found on CNN’s website. Please read these words carefully:

“One day, I had a chance to speak to a couple of those champions candidly while waiting for a shoot to begin – Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and  T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.  I had read Campbell’s book, “The China Study,” years ago and remember how audacious he was in telling readers that most of what they believed about food and its relationship to health and disease was plain wrong. His findings changed the way people all over the world eat, including me.

And, I will admit, while I had trained my whole life to treat disease after it developed, I wasn’t medically trained in nutrition to be able to help prevent some of these diseases in the first place. Most of what I have learned has been on my own, since leaving medical school, and I think that is true for many doctors of my generation.

Simply put, Campbell’s research team found people who ate the most animal-based foods also had the most chronic disease. As important, people who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest. Campbell went on to describe the specific connections between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. He also wrote of the ability to use nutrition to reverse these conditions – something that can start at almost any age.

Esselstyn took it a step further. “Sanjay, we want to make you heart attack proof.” Pretty audacious, I thought, but I couldn’t help but be engaged by this Cleveland Clinic surgeon, who was now devoting his life to preventing the diseases he made a living treating.“We are never going to end the epidemic of heart disease with stents, bypasses and medications,” he told me. That was music to my ears, because I didn’t want any of those things. Of course, it would involve essentially eliminating meat, dairy, eggs and oil – even olive oil. “Nothing with a mother, and nothing with a face,” the good doctor added.

Honestly, over the years, I have practiced the adage “eat to live,” not “live to eat.” Still, I knew it was going to be tough to carry out what he was asking. I started with a practical question for him. He was on the road traveling, and I was curious what he ate. “Thai food is always a good bet,” he told me. Sharon Kintz, who is a 66-year-old heart patient, joined me in Times Square to prove she could find a meal that satisfied her vegan requirements. Even former President Clinton says he is a vegan nowadays, and doesn’t at all miss the fast food for which he was once famous.

Virtually eliminating heart disease – it can be done, and truth is, we have known for a very long time how to do it. People have said to me as I was preparing this documentary – “Sanjay, you are advocating a radical change to the way we eat.” Perhaps, but if you really think about it, the way we eat now is in fact more radical. And when we look back on this time, a couple of hundred years from now, I guarantee you that our diet of today will be considered one of the most radical in history.

If we collectively ever want to get to the point where we have “The Last Heart Attack,” a good start would be to stop ignoring what we already know to be true. —Sanjay Gupta, MD

The book that changed Dr. Gupta's life. Want to save some lives? Give a copy of this book to everyone you know.

The problem is that the “we” that Dr. Gupta says has known how to “eliminate heart disease for a very long time” is a relatively small group of people. President Clinton just joined that group (of those in the know) recently and made the big dietary change over a year ago after reading books by Dr. Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish.

Now Dr. Gupta, the question you need to ask President Obama and the each of the presidents of ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CNN is this:  “When do we stop keeping this powerful news a secret? When are we going to start making sure that every person in the Western world knows how to eliminate heart disease in their families?”

You have already done us all a great service; now let’s take it to the next level — not just occasionally — but with the same mind-numbing frequency that our news media currently shows us ads for erectile dysfunction and cholesterol lowering drugs. Millions of lives will continue to be lost until we start telling the truth about food to the innocent citizens of the Western world.

President Bill Clinton has done more than anyone else to spread that news so far. And we mention his experience several times in our book — because it sends a very powerful message to people everywhere. That message is this (in my words) that I hear Mr. Clinton saying:

As a former president of the United States, I have access to the absolute best health-care and medical advice in the entire world. By choosing to adopt a plant-based diet for myself (and giving up all meat and dairy) so that I can enable my body to heal itself, I am broadcasting to the world that I do not believe that our government (USDA) is advising Americans what we should be eating in order to prevent or reverse over 80% of our diseases and shave $2 trillion off of our $2.7 trillion cost of health-care.

We’ve all been eating the wrong food for our species since we were born and our government has not told us the truth about that food; nor have our medical schools or our schools of nutrition, both of which are controlled by the industries that produce our food and our drugs. Dr. Campbell said said it best in his book, The China Study, the entire system—government, science, medicine, industry and media—promotes profits over health, technology over food and confusion over clarity.”

Click on image for a book preview.

You may wonder why our government is not telling us that same message that we’re hearing from Mr. Clinton. It’s the same reason why you’re not hearing this message from your doctor or even your registered dietitian. The answer is found in Chapter 8 of our book, Why Did No One Tell You This Before? The short answer is a complex combination of money, power, ego and control as Dr. Campbell calls it.

As for our book, it will be officially launched in Stonington, CT, in just 34 days. We are deeply honored that all three of the men who influenced our former president to change his diet have endorsed our book. With Dr. Campbell and his son writing the Foreword, a powerful endorsement by one of one of those audacious medical doctors who influenced President Clinton is provided here:

In Healthy Eating – Healthy World, the title tells it all, as author Jim Hicks masterfully resolves global challenges in a sensible, well-written, highly referenced must-read.”

–Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal, at the Wellness Institute of The Cleveland Clinic, author of Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease”

Bill Clinton making a point about his "plant-based" diet to Wolf Blitzer on CNN. You can see this video on the Video tab of this website.

As for our former president; his giving up meat and dairy is a really big deal and I am going to get as much mileage out of that story as I possibly can. I have featured Mr. Clinton in at least a dozen of my 201 blogs to date. Here are a few of them:

Dean Ornish and Bill Clinton; from burgers to whole plants

Where is Bill Clinton getting his protein these days?

Michelle, it’s time to tell the world about “meat & dairy.”

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 HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

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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