A simple idea with a huge upside for humankind. Let me explain.
The 4Leaf idea is that by helping everyone move in the direction of a near optimal diet for humans, we help people everywhere get healthy, we save huge bucks on the cost of healthcare and, at the same time, we do some wonderful things for the environment. For the definition of that optimal diet, we chose this powerful conclusion by the Cornell professor of nutritional biochemistry who led the most comprehensive study of human nutrition ever conducted:
“The closer we get to eating a diet of whole, plant-based foods, the better off we will be.”
T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University
Obviously, the closest we can get to that way of eating is by getting ALL of our calories from those healthiest of foods – whole plants. So we developed the 4Leaf scale, with the top bar set at 80% for those who get at least 80% of their total calories from whole plants.
So if you’re one of those people, you are eating at what we call the 4Leaf level. Here are the other “leaf” levels with all of them delivering far more whole plant calories than the typical western diet, which only derives 7% of its calories from whole plants.
- 3Leaf level is over 60% of calories from whole plants
- 2Leaf is over 40% from whole plants
- 1Leaf is over 20% from whole plants
We estimate that over 90% of Americans (and those in other developed nations) are currently eating below the 1Leaf level, with far less than 20% of their calories from whole plant-based foods.
Next vital sign? The 4Leaf approach to eating was created in 2009 and has been evolving ever since. The 4Leaf Survey (a 2-minute dietary assessment) was created in 2012 and has been administered well over 100,000 times throughout the world (now in 8 languages).
Medical doctors in dozens of countries have found our survey to be a very useful tool in helping their patients understand what constitutes a true, health-promoting diet. And we recently learned that some of those doctors are entering the patient’s survey score in their EMR (electronic medical records) system as a vital sign.
A family physician in Arkansas, Dr. Jim Sheppard, told us how he uses 4Leaf in his practice and gave us a prediction.
In using the 4Leaf Survey results with my patients, I see three things:
- The general nutritional status of my patients
- How compliant they have been
- Whether I should spend more time with dietary intervention, particularly if they scored at the Unhealthy Diet level.
For that reason, I have begun to use the 4Leaf Score as another vital sign. Patients can take the survey online, with results tabulated with suggestions on how to improve their score, emailed automatically to the patient.
Thus, the tool is not only diagnostic, but also therapeutic. Additionally, I have found that one’s 4Leaf score is also prognostic. For as one goes up the 4 Leaf scale, their other vital signs (Wt, BP, BMI, pulse) tend to normalize. Lastly, the patients other biomarkers (Glucose, Cholesterol, A1c, BUN/Cr) improve as one goes up the 4Leaf scale.
I predict that within ten years, your 4Leaf Survey score, or something very similar to it, will be recognized as a vital sign throughout the world, and will end up transforming how medicine is practiced – shifting the emphasis from managing disease to promoting health.
As is the case with your survey, determining that vital sign must be a quick, simple and easy process – and capable of providing meaningful guidance regarding what patients can do to improve their dietary vital signs while simultaneously triggering improvement in everything from blood pressure and total cholesterol to a patient’s BMI and A1C. — J.M. Sheppard, MD
Can you imagine what would happen if every family physician in the world was leveraging this new vital sign to help their patients learn to promote their own health? Can you imagine a world with up to 80% fewer drugs?
Let’s face it, the world’s current healthcare industry depends on lots of sick people for its own survival. A few years ago, one medical journalist, Shannon Brownlee, put it this way regarding our so-called “health-care” system:
We have a disease care system, and we have a very profitable disease care system—it doesn’t want you to die and it doesn’t want you to get well; it just wants you to keep coming back for the care of your chronic disease.
Time for a Game Changer. We at 4Leaf Global believe that it is time for a game changer in medicine. People everywhere deserve to have a healthcare system that focuses primarily on promoting health instead of managing disease and making money. In the USA, we have the highest cost of healthcare in the world and therefore, deserve to have the best. But in order to get there, we need a healthcare system that is rewarded for promoting health – not for selling drugs. And for that to happen, we need some kind of game changer.
Perhaps the powerful, food-related scientific truths in The China Study and practiced by a host of pioneering, health-promoting medical doctors – could be that game changer.
The China Study was published in 2005, and since then, many thousands of physicians around the world have begun leveraging the plethora of scientific truths about food and disease that were shared in that epic book – to help their patients get healthy, get off their meds and generally “get on” with enjoying a better life.
Simplicity is key. We believe that it is time for some big changes and we want to do our part to help. We know that, without a doubt, our simple 4Leaf approach can help doctors everywhere as they engage their patients in the process of promoting health. And when this movement gains momentum, the worldwide era of chronic disease eradication will have begun.
That’s because there will soon be many thousands of those “China Study” educated doctors who already know that encouraging their patients to embrace a whole-food, plant based (WFPB) will enable them to eliminate most, if not all, of the chronic diseases that plague them.
And our simple 4Leaf tools can help. To be clear, we don’t try to measure exactly what people eat. Rather, we use a simple 2-minute questionnaire to better understand their overall pattern of eating and then use that information to help them promote food choices that will lead them to vibrant health.
If you are a health provider who is interested in helping your patients promote vibrant health, we are interested in talking to you about joining our growing community of 4Leaf licensed practitioners around the world.
Want to take a tour of our Licensees ONLY page, Just contact me (Jim Hicks) via email and let’s set up a time to talk. Meanwhile, take a look at this One-Page Guide to Using 4Leaf, which describes how health providers are using our 4Leaf tools in their practices.
Credibility at its best. One fine day in September of 2015, I received this unsolicited endorsement via email from T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University. He sent it from an international cancer conference that he was attending.
“Your 4Leaf model is one-hundredth the complexity but has real value that may exceed any of the very comprehensive survey models developed by some of the world’s top cancer specialists.”–T. Colin Campbell, PhD
Copyright © 2019 4Leaf Global, LLC
Have you taken our online 4Leaf Survey? While you’re here, we invite you to take it at 4leafsurvey.com. In less than two minutes, you will appreciate the power of this tool and will be able to quickly understand why we’re so excited about it.
We encourage you to take a look around this site and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Finally, let’s get rolling with 4Leaf!