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About CHIP

A timeline of CHIP


1965 Hans Diehl immigrates to Canada from Germany. At the young age of 19, Hans Diehl immigrated to Canada from Germany.


Hans Diehl acquires qualifications in public health nutrition, health science and epidemiology at Loma Linda University.

Hans Diehl soon found his passion for helping people around him in the areas of health and nutrition. In fact, he felt compelled to pursue a career change.


Dr Hans Diehl works at the Pritikin Longevity Center as the first director of research and education.

Not long after completing his studies, Dr Hans Diehl took on a position at the Pritikin Longevity Center, a residential program that applies Lifestyle Medicine principles with outstanding clinical results for participants with heart disease and its risk factors

Nathan Pritikin was an engineer who was passionate about the link between diet and its effect on health and disease.  He soon observed that his 4-week program of a simple diet and daily exercise  not only markedly reduced blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels associated with heart disease, but participants with angina claimed less angina and a need for a reduction in certain medications.  At the same time he noticed dramatic drops in diabetic blood sugar and high blood pressure levels while overweight people lost on the average 7 to 10 lbs (3 to 4 kg) while eating more food.  The advocated diet presented with an educational curriculum of some 40 lectures emphasized “foods-as-grown”, such as  more fruits and vegetables and whole grains and legumes, leaving out processed foods and those of animal origin. Such a diet was very low in fat, sugar and salt, practically devoid of cholesterol yet rich in fiber and nutrition.

Working with the clinical outcomes achieved in just 4 weeks, Dr Diehl became amazed at how the body responded in such a powerful way under controlled conditions. It seemed to suggest that many chronic diseases apparently were not only preventable, but could possibly be also stopped and even reversed.  An initial analysis of 225 participants with established hypertension and on medication for at least 2 years showed that the medication requirements were no longer “in place” in that 83% of the participants had to have their medication discontinued with blood pressure levels now lower without the medication than when they entered the program with medication.

Dr. Diehl set up the research program in working closely with the biostatistics department of Loma Linda University to analyze the emerging clinical data while contributing to the educational curriculum development and interphasing closely with the medical team at the Longevity Center.  It was here then where he met Dr Denis Burkitt, an advocate of a high-fiber diet, who invited him to contribute to two of his books dealing with Western diseases: their emergence and reversal.  They became friends for life.


CHIP is born, a community-based lifestyle intervention program designed to drastically reduce coronary risk and improve and achieve optimal health.

Dr Diehl quickly realized that this lifestyle intervention approach made available in a residential setting to those who could afford it had to be made available to the community-at-large  where social support systems could also be developed (like restaurants providing healthy food choices) to make the new lifestyle more sustainable. After doing a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology sponsored by the National Institutes of Health of the US, Dr Diehl conducted his first 30-day community based CHIP program in the small town of Creston in British Columbia (Canada) 25 years ago.  He was amazed to see 400 people enrolling in his community-based lifestyle intervention program designed to markedly reduce coronary risk and to help people to move towards optimal health.

From Creston, the program spread like a prairie fire across the provinces of Canada attracting often crowds of more than 1,000 people to the 4-week program held in large community halls. It was in those days, that Dr Denis Burkitt, his friend, would often come from his native England to assist him in initiating these community-based CHIP programs.


CHIP DVDs are produced.

With the demand  growing exponentially for these live programs (with its clinical outcomes mimicing those seen in the residential Pritikin Longevity Center) and with each program demanding about 10 weeks of his time away from his California office, home and family,  Dr Diehl recognized that he needed to clone himself; but how? Following good advice by a film producer live CHIP sessions were captured on camera. While doing major CHIP programs  in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Dr Diehl hired the film company that was doing  most of the filming for comedian Bob Hope and asked them to “look over his shoulder” (with 3 cameras) while giving his lectures.  This became the first video-version of CHIP program.

It was this 16-part video series created in Michigan, that served CHIP well for 15 years with consistent clinical outcomes.  These outcomes, both looking at live programs as well as those conducted via video set, have been documented in many scientific publications. 


The first CHIP Conference is held at Weimar, California.

It became apparent that continuing education and inspiration were needed for those conducting the CHIP program and for those interested in learning more of how to become facilitators. It led to the first CHIP Conference, which was attended by 35 people.  


First CHIP paper published at the invitation of Caldwell Esselstyn, MD in the American Journal of Cardiology.

The clinical results of the Kalamazoo, Michigan CHIP were published at the invitation of Caldwell Esselstyn, MD from the Cleveland Clinic in the American Journal of Cardiology showing cholesterol drops not expected or previously seen in community-wide educational programs. This publication led to a major health promotion initiative in the City of Rockford, near Chicago. 


CHIP comes to the City of Rockford, Illinois under the auspices of the SwedishAmerican Health System.

The SwedishAmerican Health System under the leadership of Roger Greenlaw, MD, brought Dr. Diehl to the City of Rockford for 3 years to “make Rockford a healthier city.”  CHIP became the talk of the town as a total of 3,000 individuals graduated from the “live” program spawning 25 restaurants to offer at least 5 CHIP approved meals and inspiring super markets to stock more healthful foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  

2000 and beyond

Research efforts begin in earnest.

Under the leadership of Dr Greenlaw, who became an untiring CHIP advocate and its medical advisor, the unique opportunity presented itself to conduct major Randomized Clinical Trials involving close to $1 million, which in turn led to the publishing of close to 20 peer-reviewed journal articles on the effectiveness of CHIP.


CHIP goes international.

CHIP is brought to Australia and New Zealand.


CHIP publishes research on 5,070 individuals who attended CHIP programs in North America.

Several years ago, Dr Diehl had set up a CHIP Data Management Center (DMC) and CHIP facilitators had been encouraged to send their before and after biometric CHIP data to the DMC.

Inspired by the clinical results he observes in New Zealand, Paul Rankin becomes serious in pursuing a PhD in Public Health at Avondale College in Australia under the supervision and direction of Dr Darren Morton. His dissertational research topic becomes the evaluation of the collected and archived clinical data of over 5,000 CHIP participants stored in the DMC.    The results paper is published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

[Rankin et al. Effectiveness of a Volunteer-Delivered Lifestyle Modification Program for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors. Am J Cardiol2012; 109(1): 82-86]


The Lifestyle Medicine Institute (LMI) approaches Dr. Diehl.

Turning 64, Dr Diehl is looking for an institution or “adoptive parents” who could possibly perpetuate his life’s work and the mission and values imbedded in CHIP, headquartered in Loma Linda, California. At the same time, the LMI is looking for an established health promotion program that would fit into their long term vision and mission. 


LMI acquires global ownership of CHIP. Agreements are signed August 2011.

An agreement signed by both parties in August of 2011.


The new CHIP is officially launched in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

The new CHIP, with updated edutainment video content, and new printed learning material, is officially launched in January, 2013 with a global positioning. As Dr Diehl recently said, “I’m over the moon—several times. And with a huge gratitude to the new owners.  For me, it’s a dream come true. ” His baby is in good and most capable hands.