Food As Medicine: The Appeal of Plant-Based Nutrition

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Heart Disease is still this country's number one cause of death, and diabetes increasingly plagues the population. In Philadelphia, heart disease and stroke are the 1st and 3rd leading causes of death. Sadly, even children are experiencing a meteoric rise in diabetes. With respect to increasing obesity and food-related contributions to climate change, many groups nationwide are advocating for healthier food policies and programs. 

Along those lines, food activists and public health advocates have rallied for school lunch reform and cooking classes in schools; organic and locally produced crops instead of genetically modified crops; farm preservation, farm bill reform and food safety regulation; urban agriculture and access to healthy food; proper nutrition labeling; and regulated food  marketing to kids.

The Philadelphia Office of Health Information and Improvement has been partnering with Federally Qualified Health Centers and healthcare facilities  to sponsor learning collaborations geared towards improving care for chronic illness and preventing diabetes and hypertension. Hence, Spectrum Health Services has taken on the role of educating the community about how to address diabetes and heart disease prevention through a series of monthly classes entitled "Food As Medicine" which champions adopting a plant-based diet. 

Plant-based dieting derives from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits. Our classes, facilitated by a team comprised of a medical provider, a nutritionist, and a behavioral health provider, will discuss portion control and promote healing through our food choices. The upcoming sessions will take place at the Spectrum Community Health Center on April 10th, May 8th, and June 12th from 4pm - 5:30pm. Spectrum welcomes the community to join us and experience the joy of growing and eating healthy, tasty food with friends and family. For more information, contact us at nutritionist@spectrumhs.org. 

Sources:
http://www.phila.gov/health/commissioner/HealthInfoandImprovement.html