Chinese people weigh less...but they eat more! What's their secret? | Viva!

Chinese people weigh less...but they eat more! What's their secret?

How do the Chinese people weigh less than the vast majority of Westerners - and what part does dairy play in this equation? 

In rural China, affluent people tended to suffer from certain cancers, along with diabetes and heart disease. People with low nutrition bore other diseases such as pneumonia, peptic ulcers and parasitic diseases but not cancer or heart disease. 

You might conclude that’s because poor people die young, before they develop ‘Western’ diseases
but not so, say the scientists in The China Study.
All results were ‘age-standardised’ (age was taken into account) so the result was clear –
people with a low intake of nutrients were getting less, or no,
‘Western’ diseases.
The next important question was, which nutrients, when eaten in higher levels, were
causing ‘Western’ diseases?

A fascinating fact emerges from this study – although the average calorie intake of the least active Chinese person was 30 per cent HIGHER than the average American, body weight is one fifth lower! The China Study shows that eating diets high in animal protein and animal fat makes us more likely to store calories as body fat whereas diets low in animal protein and fat make us more likely to burn calories as heat rather than storing them as body fat. (Campbell et al, 2005.) So, even when they eat more, the Chinese weigh less than their Western counterparts. 

The biggest culprits in the British diet which contain the most animal protein and saturated
(bad) fat and cause ‘diseases of affluence’ are:

  • Cows’ milk and milk products – especially cheese, cream, butter
  • Meat and meat products – including red and white meats, sausages, meat pies