Has WFPB Reached a Tipping Point?

Has WFPB Reached a Tipping Point?

About 9 years ago I began eating a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet, and ever since then, I’ve been looking for potential tipping points that might lead to a wide spread acceptance of such a diet among the American public.

A tipping point is a critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development. The term is said to have originated in the field of epidemiology when an infectious disease reaches a point beyond any local ability to control it from spreading more widely. A tipping point is often considered to be a turning point.

The “resource” page on this site contains links to many medical professionals who promote WFPB diets.  And there must be thousands of web sites on the internet espousing the wonders of plant based diets.   But I’ve always thought that if WFPB diets were ever going to “tip over” into mainstream America, it will be athletes that make it happen.

The Rise of The Plant Based Athlete

Back in 2009, future Hall-of-Fame Football player Tony Gonzales released his book “The All-Pro Diet”.  I hoped that it would become so popular, that perhaps it would be the tipping point I was wishing for. I do give Gonzales credit for making WFPB diets more popular among elite athletes, but it did not lead to seismic change.

Since Gonzales’s book, more and more professional athletes are singing the praises of WFPB diets.  I was delighted to read that at least ten Tennessee Titans have adopted a WFPB diet. Although I was thrilled to read this, I had my doubts that this would be the tipping point that would get mainstream sports fans interested in learning more about plant based diets as the Titan’s story still reads as an anomaly.

Did I Witness a Tipping Point on Xmas Day?

I may have witnessed the long-awaited tipping point on Xmas day while watching a National Football League game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and The Houston Texans. If it is indeed a tipping point, it comes from an unlikely source – a Nike television commercial.

The commercial stars Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics basketball team and Rob Gronkowski (The Gronk) of the New England Patriots football team.  Both men are stars in their respective leagues.

During the Ad, Irving puts on extraordinary displays of athletic skill, some with the help of trick photography.  When he is finished, Gronkowski asks “How did you do that?”  Irving responds matter-of-factly, “Plant-Based Diet”.

It’s supposed to be humorous, but Irving actually follows a plant-based diet.  Perhaps my thought that this commercial represents a tipping point is wishful thinking on my part.  But I think impressionable children will be intrigued that their athletic hero follows something called a plant-based diet.

A major sign that this commercial represents a tipping point is the fact that it introduces the idea of a plant based diet during Ad time that is usually dominated by truck, insurance and junk food commercials.   Evidence that will prove my hypothesis correct is when we see Green Giant frozen vegetable commercials during this year’s Super Bowl.

Stranger things have happened.  Haven’t they?

If my hypothesis is not correct, the film “The Game Changers”, which will be premiering during next month’s Sundance Film Festival, may turn out to be the ever-so-elusive tipping point.

Stay Healthy and Strong!

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