In today’s NutritionFacts.org video pick, I feature Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s landmark Preventive Cardiology editorial, “Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic Through Plant-Based Nutrition.” Dr. Esselstyn, whose book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease inspired President Clinton’s dietary shift, details the “several mutually reinforcing institutional and commercial interests [that] oppose this lifestyle intervention,” from the billions raked in by the drug companies and stent manufacturers, to agribusiness influence resulting in USDA dietary recommendations “laden with foods that predispose millions of Americans to perish from cardiovascular disease.” (See my 2-minute video Dietary Guidelines: Science vs. Corporate Interests)
Financial interests and influence help explain institutional biases in government and among, say, cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists, but why does the medical profession in general appear so resistant to embracing plant-based diets, the proven cure? The “tomato effect” describes a slavish devotion to orthodoxy within the medical establishment that has led to a long history of rejecting highly efficacious therapies because they happen to go against the prevailing conventional wisdom (see video above).
The truth wins out, eventually. But until then, how many more people have to die?
Michael Greger, M.D.
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