Getting the Most out of the Survey

4Leaf Survey goes international (adding seven languages)–and much more.

1. IntroductionSurvey Image jpg How HealthyThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that poor diet is as harmful to health as is smoking. Yet, while smoking status is routinely assessed at every patient visit, evaluation of dietary health is neglected because a quick tool to assess its status has been lacking. Until now.

Our simple 4Leaf Survey can be completed by almost anyone (at home or in the doctor’s office) in less than three minutes. The 4Leaf score that is generated serves as a dietary vital sign, assessing the healthfulness of each patient’s diet–regardless of which or whose dietary regimen they are following.

The 4Leaf Survey was designed to help people everywhere estimate the percent of their daily calories that are derived from the healthiest of foods–whole plants, still in nature’s package.

2. Definition and History. The 4Leaf concept is all about providing people everywhere with a simple tool to help them move quickly in the direction of the optimal diet for humans–as defined by Dr.T. Colin Campbell (Cornell nutritional scientist): “The closer we get to eating a diet of whole, plant-based foods, the better off we will be.”

What could be simpler? The closest we could get would be to derive 100% of our daily calories from whole plants. But since that may not practical for most people, we decided to set the top bar at 80%, meaning that in order to eat at the 4Leaf level, one needs to derive 80% or more of their calories from whole, plant-based foods. The 1Leaf, 2Leaf, and 3Leaf levels begin at 20%, 40% and 60% respectively. Sadly, we estimate that 90% of the current USA population would currently score below the 1Leaf level on our survey. See also Intro to 4Leaf Survey.

The 4Leaf concept was designed in 2009, presented in our book (Healthy Eating, Healthy World) in 2011, and trademarked in 2013. The 4Leaf Survey was developed in 2012 and the online version was launched in 2014 at That is also when Cornell University started using it in their eCornell division.

AZ jpg Book Ad3. Our 4Leaf book. Intended primarily to help physicians communicate the simple and flexible 4Leaf principles to their patients, the 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health was written so that it could be easily digested and fully understood by anyone 16 years of age or older. The book covers the 4Leaf Survey in detail in addition to providing success stories written by the doctor, tips for dining in or eating out, meal planning, a few recipes and tips for saving money–along a plethora of reasons for eating plant-based that go far beyond your own personal health. Book Preview (For quantity discounts,contact Jim Hicks

4. 4Leaf goes international. The 4Leaf Survey is now available in five languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. We’re working on the German version and hope to add other languages soon. See them all at 4Leaf Survey Forms. While the online survey is only available in English at the moment, it can still be used internationally by following the method described below.

flagglobe5. Using this NEW online survey feature. The online version at will now compute your numerical 4Leaf score (on a scale from -44 to +44) and will also let you know at what 4Leaf level we estimate that you are now eating. After seeing that information, you should choose the “Full Report” (for that level) which will be emailed to you.

Ideally, you should print a one-page copy of the survey (in your language) before taking the online survey. Then, as you take the survey at, simply circle your responses on your printed form. This way, you will have a record of your answers, which will be helpful while reviewing the “Full Report” for your level which will be emailed to you. That report will refer to your answers on certain questions and will advise how you can improve your score–and your health. The online survey is only in English at this time. If you’re taking it in a different language, the printed version can be used to follow along with the English version on your screen.

Kids can have fun taking the survey and sharing it with friends.

Kids 4Leaf Survey

With the help of a parent, older sibling or guardian, young children can use our 4Leaf materials with great results.

With the help of a parent, older sibling, caregiver or doctor, young children can use our 4Leaf materials with great results. What better gift can we give our children than the gift of health?

6. Learning more about 4Leaf. The more you learn, the easier it will be to take charge of your own health and the easier it will be to help others. Here are a list of handy links that will help you as you proceed down your pathway to vibrant health. These, and many others, can be found at

  1. Intro to 4Leaf Survey Everything you need to know about what led to the creation of this powerful tool.617 jpeg 4Leaf Logo
  2. Validating the 4Leaf Survey How do we know that this survey works?
  3. 4Leaf Daily Reporting Form The standard survey asks about your eating habits; this survey asks specifically what you actually ate on a given day.
  4. 4Leaf Weekly Tracking Form This form is for tallying what you eat throughout each day for a week, making it easy to compute your daily 4Leaf score.
  5. The 4Leaf Chart for your refrigerator Just a reminder in constant view for you and your family.
  6. 4Leaf Top Ten Lists Ten great items in two separate lists: WHY and HOW? Another great chart for your fridge.
  7. Using 4Leaf Survey results to improve your score A one-page printable document designed to help you analyze your 4Leaf score and learn from it.
  8. 4Leaf Survey reports for each level of eating. These are the printable versions of the “full reports” that are emailed to you when you take the online survey.
    1. Unhealthful Diet (Less than 10% of calories from whole plants)
    2. Better than Most (Deriving from 10 to 20% of calories from whole plants)
    3. 1Leaf level- Survey Results
    4. 2Leaf level- Survey Results
    5. 3Leaf level- Survey Results
    6. 4Leaf level- Survey Results
  9. What makes 4Leaf recipes special?
  10. Dr. Kerry Graff, co-author of the 4Leaf Guide has used the survey more than any other doctor on Earth.

    Dr. Kerry Graff, co-author of the 4Leaf Guide has used the survey more than any other doctor on Earth.

    Letter to Your Doctor. Finally, if your own doctor is skeptical or simply uninformed about your new way of eating, you may want to hand him or her a copy of this powerful two-page letter from Dr. Kerry Graff.

The following six books can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy you are eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes about two minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate