During the last few weeks, former President Clinton notified the world that he was eating a plant-based diet in two interviews on CNN. Subsequently Drs. Esselstyn and Ornish appeared on Wolf Blitzer's show on CNN to talk about the merits of a plant-based diet.
This is HUGE.
Regardless of what you think of Clinton's politics, he has enormous reach and influence and will definitely help to further our cause, which is to educate the entire world about the power of nutrition to resolve our most expensive and debilitating health issues.
But it is important to consider how long it took for Clinton to listen. Dr. McDougall has sent him numerous letters over the years pleading with him not to have bypass surgery, angioplasty, and to change his diet instead. Dr. Esselstyn sent Clinton a copy of his book several years ago through a trusted mutual friend. Nothing happened. Clinton had bypass surgery, angioplasty, and his disease progressed. People frequently told me how disappointed they were about this and many took it as confirmation that it's hard to convince people to use diet instead of drugs and surgeries, and that we were fighting a losing battle. Part of the frustration people expressed was, I am sure, a result of difficulties in convincing some of their family members and friends to change their dietary habits too.
But President Clinton eventually did get the message. He is eating a plant-based diet. Another "win" for the plant-based crowd has been achieved, and if Clinton is compliant on the diet, reporting his results will probably have a positive influence on reforming the healthcare system. Things may not be changing as fast as we sometimes would like for them to, and it is true that sometimes the people we care most about won't respond to us. But progress is being made all the time, and we should never give up. This is a time to be more optimistic than ever, and to put more, not less, energy into spreading the word about the power of the right diet to positively influence health.
According to author Malcolm Gladwell, "The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips and spreads like wildfire."
I think we have reached the "magic moment." Let's not let it pass, but instead use the momentum our movement is experiencing to help create a healthier America now.