Building a Strong Research Program
Many academic centers conduct research, but few study plant-based diets or link their research with education and policy change. Similarly, there are many advocates for better diets, but few have a platform of direct research experience. PCRM is uniquely positioned in its ability to carry out cutting-edge research and to translate its findings to help people improve their health.
PCRM’s research work is always peer-reviewed. First, to gain approval for studies involving human participants, PCRM’s studies are reviewed by an independent Institutional Review Board that tracks the conduct of each study from inception to completion. Second, research findings are published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at medical and scientific conferences. Studies that receive grant funding have an additional layer of peer review.
Research Changes Policy
PCRM’s research findings have fueled changes in federal nutrition policy. In 2009, PCRM submitted to the U.S. government a novel design, called The Power Plate, intended to replace the pyramid-shaped diagrams in use since 1991, and actively worked for the incorporation of plant-based nutrition in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. On January 31, 2011, the revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans used the word “vegan” for the first time, and devoted considerable space to the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. In the same year, MyPyramid was replaced by MyPlate, which is strongly reminiscent of PCRM’s design.