Transcript: Tightening the Bible Belt
Epidemiological studies, particularly those like EPIC, following such large populations, can offer tremendous insight into critical public health questions— such as what we should eat, what we shouldn’t eat, to minimize our risk of falling prey to the epidemics of chronic disease currently plaguing the world. But the gold standard is the interventional study, where you put people on a certain diet, and track what happens.
It’s easy to get people to make little changes—especially if you pay them. Getting people to add grape juice to their daily diet, or some nuts, as we’ve seen, is a piece of cake—especially if that’s what you’re trying to get people to eat!
But, increasingly, there’s building evidence that to achieve big changes in our health, we need to achieve big changes in our diet. Moderation kills. Like with cholesterol, right? You want to lower your risk? Sure, you can tweak. But, if you want to eliminate your risk, or reverse the disease, you really have to take healthy eating seriously.
But, how are you going to get people to commit to a healthy diet? Tell them the Bible told them to.
Chapter 1, verses 8-16, of the prophet Daniel, best known for his lion’s den, rather than his budding role as nutritional scientist. He resolved not to defile himself with the king’s meat. The official said, “No way.” And so he told the guard, “Look, put it to the test. Round up some test subjects, and put them on a plant-based diet. See how they do.” (In the King James version they use the word “vegetables,” but the original Hebrew—hazayroeem—can translate into a broader definition.)
And, what do you know? They looked healthier and better nourished than whatever the king used to be feeding them. And so, Daniel got his veggies.
2,700 years later, researchers at the University of Memphis decided it was time to try to replicate the study. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s conclusion.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.
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