Renowned nutritionist T. Colin Campbell to speak at UMass on Wednesday

  • An aerial view of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in Amherst.  AP PHOTO/DAVID BRUNEAU

For the Gazette
Published: 3/25/2019 5:20:21 PM

AMHERST — The public will have the opportunity to grow their knowledge of plant-based diets during a lecture by the plant-based research pioneer Dr. T. Colin Campbell on Wednesday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Campbell’s bestselling book, “The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-term Health,” examines the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It has sold over 2 million copies.

“I was reading ‘The China Study’ last semester, and I kept learning more and more about him,” said Savera Mohammed, treasurer of the Plant-Based Nutrition Club (PNUT) at UMass, who invited Campbell to speak on campus.  

Mohammed reached out to Campbell directly to ask if he would be interested in speaking on campus, and he said yes. “I’m so excited about him coming to campus and spreading the message,” she said.

In the 1980s, along with researchers from Oxford University, Campbell, then a Ph.D. student at Cornell University, studied 10,200 individuals from 85 counties in rural China over a decade. By studying dietary, lifestyle and disease characteristics of the subjects, Campbell’s team concluded that there is a clear connection between plant-based diets and lower risk of chronic diseases.

Campbell is a celebrity in the plant-based community, having appeared in the documentaries “Forks Over Knives,” “Food Matters” and “Vegucated.” Along with his extensive study, Campbell has published over 300 research papers in scientific journals. He is also the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University.

“He’s one of the huge reasons why I got interested in plant-based nutrition,” said Mohammed, “because he set in stone plant-based nutrition and its benefits. He’s the person that changed my whole mindset about how diet works.”

The lecture, co-sponsored by the PNUT and the UMass Nutrition Department, aims to teach the public about the benefits of plant-based diets. PNUT, formed in 2015, works to inform students about plant-based eating and create a space where people with plant-based diets can come together and share experiences.

PNUT is expecting an attendance of around 400 people.

The talk is part of the Nutrition Department’s 31st Annual Virginia A. Beal Day lecture and awards happening from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 27. Campbell’s lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m in the UMass Amherst Campus Center Auditorium. There is no entrance fee for the event. For more information, visit

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