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John A. McDougall

John A. McDougall
Born 1947 (1947) (age 68)[1]
Nationality American
Ethnicity Irish
Alma mater Michigan State University
Occupation physician, author
Known for Treating degenerative diseases with a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based/vegan diet
Notable work(s) The McDougall Plan (1983)

John A. McDougall is an American physician and author whose philosophy is that degenerative disease can be prevented and treated with a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based/vegan diet – especially one based on starches such as potatoes, rice, and corn – which excludes all animal foods and added vegetable oils. Dr. McDougall is of Irish descent.


  • Biography 1
    • Early years and education 1.1
    • Career 1.2
  • Works 2
    • Research papers 2.1
    • Bibliography 2.2
    • DVDs 2.3
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Early years and education

McDougall is a graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, he performed his internship at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1972, and his medical residency at the University of Hawaii. He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

In 1965, at age 18, McDougall suffered a massive stroke which he attributed to his high animal product diet.[2] Since the mid-1970s, he has followed mostly a vegan diet after observing that his elderly patients from the Far East, who lived mainly on rice and vegetables, were trim and healthy compared to their offspring tempted by an American diet.[3]


Between 1973 and 1976, McDougall worked as a physician at the Hamakua Sugar Plantation on Hawaii Island. It was during this time that he first became aware of the link between his patients’ dietary choice and their health. Between 1986 and 2002, he launched a vegetarian dietary program at St. Helena Hospital in Napa Valley, California. Between 1999 and 2001, he also ran his dietary program for the Blue Cross Blue Shield in Minneapolis.[2]

In 2002, he began the McDougall Program at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California. The McDougall Program is a 10-day live-in program where patients work to regain their health by eating a vegetarian diet (without limits) and where they hear lectures by McDougall and other health professionals.[4] The program has been recommended by heart disease researcher Dean Ornish.[5] The core components of the program are available free on Dr. McDougall’s web site.[6]

McDougall is the co-founder and chairman of Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods Inc. which produces food products for grocery stores, and a member of the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.[7] In 2000, The Press Democrat described McDougall and his wife as operating “a small industry, with several cookbooks, a newsletter, a Web site, vegetarian meal cups sold across the country, and a nationally syndicated TV show.”

McDougall is the author of several books, including The McDougall Plan (1983). This was the first book by an accredited Western medical authority to propose that there is no need to combine proteins to make a “complete” protein.[8]


Research papers

  • “Effects of a very low fat vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 8:71-75, 2002.
  • “Rapid Reduction of Serum Cholesterol and Blood Pressure by a Twelve Day, Very Low Fat, Strictly Vegetarian Diet” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 14:491-496, 1995.
  • “Reduction of Risk Factors in an Intensive 12-Day Residential Cardiac Rehabilitation and Lifestyle Modification Program in High Risk and Cardiovascularly Diseased Patients.” Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehab 9:397, 1989.


  • The Starch Solution (2012)
  • Dr. McDougall’s Digestive Tune-Up (2006)
  • McDougalls' All-You-Can-Eat Vegetarian Cookbook (2005)
  • The McDougall Program for Women (1999)
  • The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook (1999)
  • The McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart (1996)
  • The McDougall Plan for Maximum Weight Loss (1995)
  • The New McDougall Cookbook (1995)
  • The McDougall Program 12 Days to Dynamic Health (1991)
  • The McDougall Health-Supporting Cookbook: Volume 2 (1986)
  • McDougall’s Medicine—A Challenging Second Opinion (1985)
  • The McDougall Health-Supporting Cookbook: Volume 1 (1985)
  • The McDougall Plan (1983)


  • Dr. McDougall’s Money-Saving Medical Advice
  • Dr. McDougall’s Common Sense Nutrition
  • McDougall Made Irresistible
  • Dr. McDougall Disputes Major Medical Treatments
  • McDougall Made Easy
  • Dr. McDougall’s Total Health Solution
  • McDougall’s Medicine

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Dr. McDougall, Why Do You Act That Way?" (Vol.8, No.4). The McDougall Newsletter. April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Dr. John McDougall". 
  4. ^ Robin Asbell, “Practicing What He Preaches”, Better Homes and Gardens Heart Healthy Online.
  5. ^ , The Press Democrat, 25 February 2000.
  6. ^ "". 
  7. ^ Sunny Aslam, “Vegetarian diet on solid ground, experts say”, USA Today, 28 November 2001.
  8. ^ “When it comes to diet, how low (in fat) can you go?”, Rocky Mountain News, 11 August 1993.

External links

  • Official website
  • The McDougall Newsletter
  • Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods
  • John A. McDougall at the Internet Movie Database
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