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The Physicians Committee

Gov. Chris Christie: Try Plant-Based Postop Prescription
May 9, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just announced that he underwent weight-loss surgery earlier this year. Many people who struggle with obesity make the same difficult decision. I empathize with Gov. Christie’s desire to improve his health for himself, his family, and his constituents. In the letter below, I offer him postoperative advice on how a plant-based diet can help him maintain a healthful lifestyle. The same advice can also help those suffering from obesity forgo weight-loss surgery.

May 9, 2013

Gov. Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Gov. Christie:

I understand that you’ve had a procedure to help your weight, and I want to congratulate you on this step. I also wanted to see if I could encourage you to consider some important dietary changes that we have been studying here in our NIH-funded research. We have found that a plant-based diet is remarkably effective in accelerating weight loss and making it permanent. Moreover, we have developed ways to make the transition easy.

As you may know, President Bill Clinton not only lost weight after adopting a low-fat vegan diet, he improved his heart health. Many people who follow a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes experience significant health benefits, including lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol, increased energy, and decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Plant-based diets can also help prevent and reverse lifestyle diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

To help you try this new healthful way of eating for three weeks, I’ve enclosed a copy of my book 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. This time frame is long enough to see results but short enough to make it approachable.

My nonprofit organization, the Physicians Committee, also partners with physicians, dietitians, and health educators to promote healthful lifestyles and food choices. Please let me know if you would like me to send updates about our nutrition education programs or about the latest research in diet and health.

I am also more than happy to work with you and your family on customized meal plans.


Neal D. Barnard, M.D.


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