The Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet For Health
Dr. Charles Ross presented the misconceptions involved in regularly consuming milk and dairy products, as well as their negative effects on our health. He included an article by Dr. Neal Barnard that highlights the top five myths surrounding milk and dairy products to argue that; these products are increasing our risk for diseases and most studies that support health benefits are funded by the milk industry. Dr. Ross discussed how their consumption has shown an increase in bone fractures, risk of diabetes, and “artery-clogging saturated fats”, that are linked to the #1 killer in America; heart disease. However, the article provided did not include any clinical or scientific data to support their arguments. Hyperlinks within the article appear to provide “proof” of their claims, but lead to more non-scientific articles written by the same author, within Dr. Barnard’s online blog. I do not agree with Dr. Ross’ argument concerning milk’s negative side-effects, since studies have shown that there is an inverse relationship between milk consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to saturated fats.
Another article presented the contrary to Dr. Ross’ argument about bone fractures and diabetes risks, which demonstrate a positive effect on bone health in children and adults, and reducing the risk of childhood obesity and developing type II diabetes. The speaker included this article by Dr. Barnard to supplement his personal claim about the necessity to consume a heavy/all plant-based diet, however there was no scientific data that directly supported these claims. The article, and Dr. Ross, made assumptions about the causation between milk and diseases, by providing generalized correlations.
The second topic Dr. Ross presented was the Blue Zones populations that contain the world’s “longest lived and healthiest populations”, according to Dan Buettner’s book. Ross uses the Blue Zones concept (and t-shirt) to further support the need for a plant-based diet by arguing that these populations live longer and suffer from fewer major diseases due to their plant-based dietary behaviors. Research into these Blue Zone populations resulted in a handful of ambiguous articles that provide “evidence” to support the longevity of these populations. One article presents statistical data about the Okinawa population in terms of cholesterol, free-radicals, and vegetable consumption but provides no evidence, or explanation into how these values were collected. One article reference which they use to supplement their claims were not existent in any journal/scientific database upon my personal investigation. An article about caloric restriction dietary behavior was used to support the Okinawa Case, with viable statistical data, however, the average lifespan between Okinawa and other Japanese populations were not statistically significant. Additionally, there was no concrete evidence to confirm that long-term caloric restriction was used by the Okinawa population in question; the data only supported the use of caloric restriction in reducing age-related disease risks, but not in relation to the Okinawa population.
Therefore, the Blue Zones concept, has not been well-researched in any significant capacity to be included as a reliable argument for an all-plant based diet. There is research to suggest that a plant-based diet can improve heath conditions, however, the topic arguments presented by Dr. Ross lack significant evidence.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below