sponsored links
TED2006

Dean Ornish: The killer American diet that's sweeping the planet

February 23, 2006

Forget the latest disease in the news: Cardiovascular disease kills more people than everything else combined -- and it’s mostly preventable. Dr. Dean Ornish explains how changing our eating habits can save lives.

Dean Ornish - Physician, author
Dean Ornish is a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. He's a leading expert on fighting illness -- particularly heart disease with dietary and lifestyle changes. Full bio

sponsored links
Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
With all the legitimate concerns
about AIDS and avian flu --
00:25
and we'll hear about that from the
00:28
brilliant Dr. Brilliant later today --
00:30
I want to talk about the other
pandemic, which is
00:32
cardiovascular disease,
diabetes, hypertension --
00:34
all of which are completely
preventable for at
00:37
least 95 percent of people
00:40
just by changing diet and lifestyle.
00:42
And what's happening is that there's a
00:43
globalization of illness
occurring, that people
00:44
are starting to eat like us,
and live like us, and
00:46
die like us. And
in one generation, for example,
00:49
Asia's gone from having
one of the lowest rates of
00:52
heart disease and obesity
and diabetes to one
00:54
of the highest. And in Africa,
cardiovascular disease
00:56
equals the HIV and AIDS deaths
00:59
in most countries.
01:02
So there's a critical
window of opportunity we
01:03
have to make an important
difference that can
01:05
affect the lives of literally
millions of people,
01:07
and practice preventive
medicine on a global
01:09
scale.
01:11
Heart and blood vessel
diseases still kill more
01:12
people -- not only in this
country, but also
01:14
worldwide -- than everything
else combined, and yet
01:16
it's completely preventable
for almost everybody.
01:19
It's not only preventable; it's actually
01:22
reversible. And for the last
almost 29 years,
01:24
we've been able to show
that by simply changing
01:26
diet and lifestyle, using
these very high-tech,
01:28
expensive, state-of-the-art
measures to prove how
01:31
powerful these very simple
and low-tech and low-cost
01:33
interventions can be like -- quantitative
01:36
arteriography,
before and after a year, and
01:38
cardiac PET scans.
01:40
We showed a few months
ago -- we published the
01:41
first study showing you
can actually stop or
01:43
reverse the progression
of prostate cancer by
01:45
making changes in diet
and lifestyle, and 70 percent
01:47
regression in the tumor
growth, or inhibition of
01:50
the tumor growth, compared
to only nine percent in the
01:54
control group.
01:56
And in the MRI and MR
spectroscopy here, the
01:57
prostate tumor activity
is shown in red -- you can
01:59
see it diminishing after a year.
02:01
Now there is an epidemic
of obesity: two-thirds of
02:03
adults and 15 percent of kids.
What's really concerning
02:06
to me is that diabetes has
increased 70 percent in the
02:09
past 10 years, and this may be the first
02:12
generation in which our kids
live a shorter life
02:14
span than we do. That's pitiful, and it's
02:16
preventable.
02:18
Now these are not election
returns, these are the
02:19
people -- the number
of the people who are obese
02:22
by state, beginning in '85,
'86, '87 -- these are
02:24
from the CDC website --
'88, '89, '90, '91 -- you
02:28
get a new category --
'92, '93, '94, '95, '96,
02:32
'97, '98, '99, 2000, 2001
-- it gets worse. We're
02:36
kind of devolving. (Laughter)
02:41
Now what can we do about this?
Well, you know, the
02:46
diet that we've found
that can reverse heart
02:49
disease and cancer is an Asian diet.
02:50
But the people in Asia
are starting to eat like we
02:52
are, which is why they're
starting to get sick
02:54
like we are.
02:55
So I've been working
with a lot of the big food
02:56
companies. They can make
it fun and sexy and hip
02:58
and crunchy and convenient
to eat healthier foods,
03:00
like -- I chair the advisory
boards to McDonald's,
03:02
and PepsiCo, and ConAgra,
and Safeway, and soon
03:05
Del Monte, and they're
finding that it's good
03:07
business.
03:09
The salads that you see
at McDonald's came from
03:10
the work -- they're going
to have an Asian salad. At
03:11
Pepsi, two-thirds
of their revenue growth came
03:13
from their better foods.
03:15
And so if we can do that,
then we can free up
03:16
resources for buying drugs
that you really do need
03:18
for treating AIDS and HIV
and malaria and for
03:21
preventing avian flu. Thank you.
03:24

sponsored links

Dean Ornish - Physician, author
Dean Ornish is a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. He's a leading expert on fighting illness -- particularly heart disease with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Why you should listen

Dr. Dean Ornish wants you to live longer, and have more fun while you're at it. He's one of the leading voices in the medical community promoting a balanced, holistic approach to health, and proving that it works. The author of Eat More, Weigh Less and several other best-selling books, Ornish is best known for his lifestyle-based approach to fighting heart disease.

His research at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute (the nonprofit he founded) clinically demonstrated that cardiovascular illnesses -- and, most recently prostate cancer -- can be treated and even reversed through diet and exercise. These findings (once thought to be physiologically implausible) have been widely chronicled in the US media, including Newsweek, for which Ornish writes a column. The fifty-something physician, who's received many honors and awards, was chosen by LIFE Magazine as one of the most influential members of his generation. Among his many pursuits, Ornish is now working with food corporations to help stop America's obesity pandemic from spreading around the globe.

sponsored links

If you need translations, you can install "Google Translate" extension into your Chrome Browser.
Furthermore, you can change playback rate by installing "Video Speed Controller" extension.

Data provided by TED.

This website is owned and operated by Tokyo English Network.
The developer's blog is here.