Why The USA Is Ahead Of The UK In Plant-Based Medicine

Most of the famous WFPB medical pioneers, authors and website promoters of WFPB are in the USA. Much of the publicised WFPB research comes from researchers working out of the USA. In comparison, fewer of the latter come from the UK and Europe as a whole. Why is this?

The answer probably lies in the fact that the USA was first to expose its citizens to a diet so high in animal and processed foods – hence the acronym SAD (Standard American Diet) – with the accompanying disastrous levels of protein, saturated fat, sugar and salt.

It follows that their population would naturally be the first to show the usual signs of this unhealthy and unnatural processed diet – such as widespread obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and diet-related cancers.

But why, compared with the UK and Europe, would more high-flying US doctors and researchers switch from the traditional reductionist medical paradigm (treating chronic disease with pharmaceuticals and surgery) to the wholistic 1  WFPB paradigm (avoiding chronic disease through dietary change)?

The answer may partly lie in the possibility that these doctors were the first to become disenchanted with the failure of current medical methods which are highly successful in cases of acute illnesses, but which have done nothing at all to stem the increasing tsunami of diet-related non-communicable chronic illnesses. And this has surely been compounded by the fact that the third 2  leading cause of death in the USA is the side-effects of the very medical “solutions” that are supposed to heal us!

The healthcare system in the USA has revealed itself earlier than it has in Europe as being a reactive disease-care system rather than a genuinely proactive and disease-preventative health-care system.

Doctors would have to be blind not to have noticed that current practices have only addressed the symptoms of disease – high blood pressure with statins, cancer with chemotherapy or surgery, heart disease with bypasses and stents, rather than the causes of around 80% or more 3 of all diseases – the food we put in our bodies.

These pioneers were on the front line earlier, and saw the failure of the current medical attempts to solve the explosion in chronic diseases by dishing out more and more pills and invasive surgical procedures. Naturally, they would be the first group of practitioners to become disenfranchised with a medical and political approach that was so clearly failing. Equally, they were surrounded by the dietary insanity all around them, and so could see first hand the link between diet and disease – to realise, as Dr McDougall says, that “It’s The Food!

Within the current medical paradigm, you go to see your doctor to tell him you have a terrible pain in your foot. He sees a nail sticking up through your shoe into your flesh. Rather than pulling the nail out or advising you to change your footwear, he writes you a prescription for pain killers and arranges an appointment with an occupational therapist to deal with your limp.

As the years or even decades pass, and the hospitals in the UK and Europe reach crisis point (as if they’re not here already!), we’ll see an increasing trickle of doctors on this side of “the pond” waking up to the same reality as a larger number of their US colleagues have already done.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there are significant numbers of US medical practitioners shouting from the rooftops that it’s the toxic diet that’s causing the explosion in aptly-called “Western” diseases. There aren’t. Nutrition is still largely side-lined for financial and political reasons in the fields of US clinical practice and medical research; but as I write, there appear to be more encouraging signs of change under the Star Spangled Banner than under the Union Jack or the EU Flag.

Only time will tell when significant change will come to our shores – but as each day passes, one cannot help but feel both sad and angry about the millions of our citizens, blindly succumbing to completely avoidable diseases, while their doctors and politicians continue in their efforts to mop up the flood rather than turn off the tap.


  1. Wholism vs Reductionism – Not Just a War of Words   []
  2.  Modern Medicine: The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about. []
  3. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition. Chapter 44. Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Walter C. Willett, Jeffrey P. Koplan, Rachel Nugent, Courtenay Dusenbury, Pekka Puska, and Thomas A. Gaziano. []