Neal Barnard, M.D. TCP-09

The Physicians Committee

Nutrition and Cancer Web Seminars

Diet: A Prescription that Works for Long-Term Health and Weight Control

Originally Presented On: Saturday, July 28, 2007

Event:  The Cancer Project’s 2007 Cancer & Nutrition Symposium in Bethesda, Md.

Speaker: Neal Barnard, M.D.
Nutrition researcher, an author, and the founder and president of The Cancer Project, an organization that works to advance cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research. Adjunct associate professor of medicine at George Washington University.

Synopsis:  Among the best-established factors in breast cancer prevention and survival is avoidance of excess body weight. Even among breast cancer survivors within the normal weight range, thinner women have improved survival odds, compared with those who are slightly heavier, according to available evidence. However, there is considerable controversy as to the best means of losing weight. Plant-based diets are highly effective for preventing excess weight gain as well as for weight loss, and have several theoretical and practical advantages over other methods. The mechanisms by which such diets work will be detailed, along with means of implementing them in clinical practice.

Intended Audience: Internists, oncologists, registered dieticians, registered nurses, and cancer researchers.

Objectives: Upon completion of this Web Seminar, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between weight control and breast cancer prevention and survival
  • Discover how a plant-based diet is effective for healthy weight control
  • Gain insight into the importance of having a healthy body weight upon breast cancer diagnosis and achieving a healthy weight after diagnosis

CMEs: Not available for this event.

Speaker Bio: Neal Barnard, M.D.

Neal Barnard, M.D.Neal Barnard, M.D., is a nutrition researcher, an author, and the founder and president of The Cancer Project, an organization that works to advance cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research. The Cancer Project started as a program of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in 1991 and became an incorporated affiliate of PCRM in 2004 to better educate the public about diet’s role in cancer prevention and survival. Founded in 1985 by Dr. Barnard, PCRM has evolved into a nationwide organization of physicians and laypersons that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition, and addresses controversies in modern medicine, including ethical issues in research.

As president of both PCRM and The Cancer Project, Dr. Barnard directs numerous innovative programs to promote healthy eating. Research has shown that people following vegetarian diets are up to 50 percent less likely than meat eaters to develop cancer, and Dr. Barnard works to educate the public on how a plant-based diet can play a key role in cancer prevention and survival. He has also conducted numerous studies of the ability of nutritional interventions to treat high cholesterol levels, hormone imbalances, diabetes, and other conditions, and has published groundbreaking findings in journals such as The American Journal of Cardiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Preventive Medicine. One recent study, conducted with a grant from the National Institutes of Health, shows how a low-fat, vegan diet helps diabetes patients reduce and even eliminate their need for medication. 

Dr. Barnard has been instrumental in reforming federal dietary guidelines. In his published reports, he has shown how meat-based diets not only cause health problems, but also are responsible for up to $60 billion every year in health care costs.

Dr. Barnard’s interest in healthy eating evolved over many years. His family includes both doctors and cattle ranchers—two groups that often butt heads over health issues. Before going to medical school, Dr. Barnard worked as an autopsy assistant, where he observed heart disease and other deadly effects of a bad diet firsthand.

Dr. Barnard is the author of seven books, including Breaking the Food Seduction, Food for Life, and Eat Right, Live Longer. He is also the editor-in-chief of Good Medicine and the author of hundreds of articles in magazines such as Scientific American and newspapers such as The New York Times. A regular guest on network talk and news shows and a busy public speaker,

Dr. Barnard lives in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Barnard is also an adjunct associate professor of medicine at George Washington University.