Thought for Food

BWB Texts

Book 66
Bridget Williams Books
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"We are no longer like our ancestors. We no longer depend on our skills as foragers, gatherers, scavengers, hunters and fishers for food. We are only part-time food raisers at best. . . Our biology, on the other hand, has changed far less. Now there is a mismatch between who we are and what we eat. And it is in the gap created by this mismatch that chronic diseases. . . can take root."

 John Potter, an award-winning public health researcher, examines the latest research on what causes cancer and other chronic diseases. 

What is scientists’ current understanding of the balance between diet, genes and plain bad luck, and how is the balance shifting? 

He explores how our adaptation to the diets of our ancestors can be linked to the diseases we experience in the present – and explains what the evidence says we can do about it.

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About the author

 John D. Potter is Professor at CPHR, Massey University, Wellington; Adjunct Professor at University of Canterbury, Christchurch; Senior Advisor, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology at the University of Washington, both in Seattle, USA; and Chief Science Advisor, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Potter has had an outstanding international research career focussing on nutrition, other environmental and host factors, and genetics in the aetiology and pathobiology of cancer and other chronic diseases. This has broadened to “planetary overload”, especially in relation to diet and environmental degradation.

After 5 years of clinical medicine, Potter worked at CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide (1977-1986), completing his PhD and beginning his close partnership with Tony McMichael. Then, in the US, he held increasingly senior posts at the Universities of Minnesota and Washington and FHCRC (including as Director of its Division of Public Health Sciences, one of the largest groups of public-health scientists anywhere).

Potter chaired the international panel that produced Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective (1997). Recent visiting appointments have included the Cambridge Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon. He is founding co-chair of the Asia Cohort Consortium, a collaborative cohort study across Asia of 1.1 million people.

International awards include: India’s Gopalan Oration Gold Medal for nutrition science (1996); American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) DeWitt Goodman Lectureship for international leadership in research in nutrition, cancer, and cancer prevention (2000); the US National Cancer Institute Annual Advances in Cancer Prevention Award (2005); AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention (2009); and the 2012 Medal of Honour of IARC.

He is currently PI of CPHR’s research study:  Comparison of two invitation-based methods for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling with standard recall for usual care among un- and under-screened Māori, Pacific and Asian women: a randomised controlled community trial to examine the effect of self-sampling on participation in cervical-cancer screening as well as participating as an investigator in other studies.

Potter has authored or co-authored more than 690 scientific papers, chapters, and books. His Scopus H-Index is 111 (see;; and

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Additional Information

Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Dec 31, 2018
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Health & Fitness / Diet & Nutrition / Nutrition
Medical / Preventive Medicine
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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 Learn 100s of Life-Changing Ideas to Maximize YOUR Wellness & Vitality.

Learn to distinguish NON-Foods from REAL foods -- fake or counterfeit foods from truly Whole SOURCE FOODS.

Why eating Certified Organic foods is much healthier.

Why regular table salt is toxic and linked to Alzheimer’s disease and should be replaced with Sea Salt.

Why Aspartame is a poison to be avoided.

Why MSG is a poison to be avoided.

The value of Sunlight and the Vitamin D it produces.

The importance of clean water and hydration.

How to get the best fiber nature offers for optimal colon health.

How to look for and avoid the neurotoxin Aluminum in many surprising products including toothpaste.

Why GMO foods should be avoided and how to do it.

The importance of maintaining the “friendly” bacteria in your digestive system -- what you can do.

Why most oils sold in the conventional grocery stores are actually rancid and how to identify the healthy, nourishing oils that are essential to your body’s brain tissue, cell membranes, and immune system health.

Why pasteurized and homogenized milk is a destroyed food and the alternatives.

Make raw Organic Fresh-Flaked Oatmeal Cereal for 100% nutrition.

How to eliminate Heartburn simply and easily.

How to minimize the effects of the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster which is now in the food supply.

A simple Flush/Cleanse for your Liver and Gallbladder that can restore the vital normal flow of bile -- this is beneficial even if you have had your gallbladder removed.


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The body is magnificent but it doesn't come with a lifetime warranty, or an operating manual. You're the result of millions of years of evolution, but many of the adaptations that helped your ancestors survive are now working overtime to accelerate the aging process. The assumption here is that we are our genes and therefore trapped by the past. The good news is that your genetic code—the DNA sequence that is the biochemical basis of heredity—can play a minor role in the way you age.

The scientific reality is that 90 percent of the signs of aging and disease are caused by lifestyle choices, not your genes. In other words, you have the capability to overcome and transform your genetic history and tendencies. Harvard/MIT—trained physician Sara Gottfried, M.D. has created a revolutionary 7-week program that empowers us to make the critical choices necessary to not just look young, but also feel young.

Dr. Gottfried identifies and builds this book around the five-key factors that lead to accelerated aging -the muscle factor, the brain factor, the hormone factor, the gut factor, and the toxic fat factor. The 7-week program addresses these factors and treats them in an accessible and highly practical protocol and is as follows:

Feed—Week 1Sleep—Week 2Move—Week 3Release—Week 4Expose—Week 5Soothe—Week 6Think—Week 7

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