Number of Doctors Interested in Vegan Nutrition Quadruples

Record attendance at a plant-based nutrition conference shows an unprecedented interest in fighting disease by prescribing a vegan diet over pharmaceuticals.

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Over 1,000 medical professionals attended the International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference in Anaheim, CA over the weekend—four times as many as were in attendance at the inaugural conference in 2012. The purpose of the conference is to educate healthcare professionals about whole food, plant-based treatments (and cures) of preventable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. “Given the fact that most physicians get less than eight hours of nutrition education while in medical school, this surge in interest is deeply hopeful,” says Forbes writer Michael Pellman Roland. While many healthcare professionals want to implement dietary-focused treatments, they often lack the tools to do so. One such existing tool is vegan startup Lighter—a digital platform developed for healthcare professionals and their patients—which aims to bridge the gap between the interest in plant-based nutrition and implementation of vegan meal plans as prescriptions for treating patients with food as opposed to pharmaceuticals. Further evidencing the trend toward plants, vegan doctor Ethan Ciment told VegNews that a record 750 medical professionals attended this year’s Nutrition in Medicine Conference in Washington D.C., hosted by vegan organization, Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine. “As healthcare providers, nothing is more gratifying than to help our patients learn how to help themselves,” Ciment told VegNews. “Food as medicine and plant-based nutrition is a total slam-dunk in that regard.”