Vegan Diet Creator Passes Away

( – A doctor credited with advancing dietary health has died at age 77. Dr. John McDougall, who invented a high-starch vegan diet, died peacefully in his sleep at home, a family statement read. The Detroit native suffered a stroke at age 18 and was hospitalized for weeks, prompting his interest in medicine and health and his quest for alternatives to processed foods.

McDougall was convinced that a person’s diet enormously impacted their longevity and, together with his wife, founded the McDougall program – the first ever plant-based vegan weight loss diet.

His revolutionary view of human health occurred after he came to the view that doctors were not as competent or informed as society generally believed. “My exalted view of doctors changed during my 2-week stay at Grace Hospital,” he said. Mr. McDougall noted that some of the finest medical minds could not answer his fundamental questions, including what caused his stroke and how he could recover from it.

After attending medical school, partly to understand what doctors are taught, McDougall concluded that his stroke was caused by a high-fat diet consisting of “double cheese pizzas and hot dogs.”

He later worked as a physician on a Hawaiian sugar plantation, where his views of health and diet were cemented. He noted that elderly people who ate a diet of rice and vegetables lived into their 90s, whereas the younger generations, who ate processed foods, suffered ill health much earlier.

Born in Detroit in 1947, McDougall wrote several books in which he strongly advocated against eating meat and promoted kindness to animals. After graduating from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, he went on to study at the University of Hawaii and later opened a 10-day residential diet program in California, where participants ate rice, potatoes, corn, bread, pasta, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

The physician wrote 13 best-selling books, including The Starch Solution, which remains one of Amazon’s top-selling vegan publications.

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