Dean Ornish: The world’s killer diet

Dean Ornish: The world’s killer diet

November 3, 2019 73 By William Morgan


With all the legitimate concerns
about AIDS and avian flu —
and we’ll hear about that from the
brilliant Dr. Brilliant later today —
I want to talk about the other
pandemic, which is
cardiovascular disease,
diabetes, hypertension —
all of which are completely
preventable for at
least 95 percent of people
just by changing diet and lifestyle.
And what’s happening is that there’s a
globalization of illness
occurring, that people
are starting to eat like us,
and live like us, and
die like us. And
in one generation, for example,
Asia’s gone from having
one of the lowest rates of
heart disease and obesity
and diabetes to one
of the highest. And in Africa,
cardiovascular disease
equals the HIV and AIDS deaths
in most countries.
So there’s a critical
window of opportunity we
have to make an important
difference that can
affect the lives of literally
millions of people,
and practice preventive
medicine on a global
scale.
Heart and blood vessel
diseases still kill more
people — not only in this
country, but also
worldwide — than everything
else combined, and yet
it’s completely preventable
for almost everybody.
It’s not only preventable; it’s actually
reversible. And for the last
almost 29 years,
we’ve been able to show
that by simply changing
diet and lifestyle, using
these very high-tech,
expensive, state-of-the-art
measures to prove how
powerful these very simple
and low-tech and low-cost
interventions can be like — quantitative
arteriography,
before and after a year, and
cardiac PET scans.
We showed a few months
ago — we published the
first study showing you
can actually stop or
reverse the progression
of prostate cancer by
making changes in diet
and lifestyle, and 70 percent
regression in the tumor
growth, or inhibition of
the tumor growth, compared
to only nine percent in the
control group.
And in the MRI and MR
spectroscopy here, the
prostate tumor activity
is shown in red — you can
see it diminishing after a year.
Now there is an epidemic
of obesity: two-thirds of
adults and 15 percent of kids.
What’s really concerning
to me is that diabetes has
increased 70 percent in the
past 10 years, and this may be the first
generation in which our kids
live a shorter life
span than we do. That’s pitiful, and it’s
preventable.
Now these are not election
returns, these are the
people — the number
of the people who are obese
by state, beginning in ’85,
’86, ’87 — these are
from the CDC website —
’88, ’89, ’90, ’91 — you
get a new category —
’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96,
’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, 2001
— it gets worse. We’re
kind of devolving. (Laughter)
Now what can we do about this?
Well, you know, the
diet that we’ve found
that can reverse heart
disease and cancer is an Asian diet.
But the people in Asia
are starting to eat like we
are, which is why they’re
starting to get sick
like we are.
So I’ve been working
with a lot of the big food
companies. They can make
it fun and sexy and hip
and crunchy and convenient
to eat healthier foods,
like — I chair the advisory
boards to McDonald’s,
and PepsiCo, and ConAgra,
and Safeway, and soon
Del Monte, and they’re
finding that it’s good
business.
The salads that you see
at McDonald’s came from
the work — they’re going
to have an Asian salad. At
Pepsi, two-thirds
of their revenue growth came
from their better foods.
And so if we can do that,
then we can free up
resources for buying drugs
that you really do need
for treating AIDS and HIV
and malaria and for
preventing avian flu. Thank you.