The office of vegan Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has announced the launch of a new preventative medicine program at Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the nation.
Called the Plant-Based Lifestyle Program, the new initiative will service at least 100 patients per week. NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue has backed the program with $400,000 in funding in order to help patients transition to a vegan diet to improve chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Doctors, nurses, dieticians, and life coaches will help at least 100 patients across all five boroughs adopt healthy eating patterns focused on legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds while reducing animal products, fried foods, refined grains, and added sugars. Dr. Michelle McMacken, director of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Adult Weight Management Program, will direct the program.
“This program will assist patients who are living with chronic health conditions, giving them the guidance and support they need to transition to a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. McMacken. “Healthy lifestyle habits have the potential to prevent, treat, and sometimes even reverse conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.”
We’re launching a Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue! I honestly couldn’t be more excited! Our mission is to help people get healthier through lifestyle changes, especially a plant-based diet. Many thanks to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams @bpericadams for spearheading this lifesaving initiative, and to @nychealthsystem for its support! . Our fantastic plant-based team – doctors, a registered dietitian and a health coach – will work with you one-on-one to help you meet your health goals. Not ready to adopt a fully plant-based diet? That’s OK – we welcome you! You can make changes at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. . If you have one or more of the following health conditions, you’re eligible to join the program: type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. . We’ll start seeing patients this fall. To join the appointment waiting list or request more information, call the BELLEVUE PLANT-BASED LIFESTYLE MEDICINE PROGRAM at (347) 507-3695. . Please share with anyone who may be interested. We’re excited to meet you!! 🥦🍓🥕🍏🎉 . 📸jessicamahady.com @mahadylady . #foodismedicine #nutrition #lifestyle #healthyfood #healthyeating #lifestylemedicine #diabetes #cholesterol #heartdisease #weightloss #highbloodpressure #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #wfpb
“This clinic will champion a new paradigm for healthcare in New York and beyond, one in which patients gain freedom not only from debilitating, life-threatening chronic diseases but also from the harsh side effects and reduced quality of life associated with traditional, less effective treatments,” said Adams. “The power of plant-based diets allowed me to reverse my type 2 diabetes, and I’m elated that through this clinic, it will do the same—and more—for countless New Yorkers.”
plant-based food as medicine
Change is happening from within the medical community, driven by concerned doctors. The upcoming Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference, which is set to take place in San Diego in early September, stresses the importance of all types of doctors to learn and talk to their patients about how vegan food can lead to major health improvements for a wide range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease, various forms of cancer, and more.
The Brooklyn borough president himself has been vocal about how a healthy vegan diet has transformed his life. Last July, he was the star of a mini-documentary created by Forks Over Knives, an online platform that promotes the health benefits of whole, plant-based foods. In it, Adams explained how he had come to rely on convenience foods heavy in animal products, which led to the emergence of nerve damage to his hands and feet and rapidly worsening eyesight as a result of type-2 diabetes.
Adams’s doctor placed him on insulin immediately in order to steer him away from premature death, but Adams sought to take back control of his health by adopting a vegan diet. Within three months, he saw a disappearance of his type-2 diabetes symptoms, lost 30 pounds, and was able to safely stop taking his medication.
His passion for improving the health of the people translates into his work as a political leader. Last June, he launched a plant-based nutrition page on the official Brooklyn website, inspired by the rising interest in eating healthy vegan food from within the community. The page provides a comprehensive list of plant-based health and nutrition guides, books, and documentaries curated with those curious about living a vegan lifestyle in mind.
The Plant-Based Lifestyle Program is set to kick off this fall.