Kickstart Around the WorldThe 21-Day Vegan Kickstart now has more than 344,000 participants worldwide.
21-Day Healthy Challenge Makes Headlines in China
At the kickoff event, vegan celebrities and physicians answered questions from the audience. From left: Tevinny Liu, Jackie Lui, Jiing Mak, Dr. Jia Xu, Dr. Vincent Lee, Dr. Irene Lo, Dr. Sophie Leung, Dr. Michael Fok, and Angie Palmer.
In March, the Physicians Committee hosted a 21-Day Healthy Challenge event in Hong Kong to promote Kickstart China. Kickstart coaches, celebrities, and doctors presented plant-based nutrition information to the audience and Chinese news outlets. After the event, Hong Kong-based ECSTV filmed a three-part series on vegan diets featuring interviews with physicians and celebrities, as well as restaurant tours and cooking demonstrations.
Jia Xu, Ph.D., program specialist for the Physicians Committee, traveled to eight Chinese cities and gave more than 35 lectures, with more lecture tours scheduled for later this year. Dr. Xu presented information on plant-based diets to more than 1,500 attendees at schools, restaurants, hospitals, and other venues.
The Kickstart program appeared all over the news in China, from the front pages of local papers to TV stations. Since a healthful plant-based diet closely aligns with a traditional Chinese diet, people across the country are interested in learning more.
Diet-related diseases have been on the rise in China—largely because of the influx of meaty Western cuisine—but now thousands of people have received information about how plant-based diets can help the population lose weight and reverse diabetes. Kickstart China registrations nearly tripled in April, reaching the highest number of participants yet.
Kickstart India Combats the Expansion of Meaty Diets
During April, Zeeshan Ali, Ph.D., program specialist for the Physicians Committee’s Kickstart India program, traveled to India to promote a plant-based diet among health care professionals and the general public. At the Goethe-Institut in Hyderabad, Dr. Ali presented information on plant-based diets and the Physicians Committee’s clinical research.
The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhopal invited Dr. Ali to participate in a round-table discussion, offering him the opportunity to present nutrition information to the staff and students.
Over the past few years, Western fast-food outlets have been aggressively expanding into India, contributing to an increase in obesity and diabetes rates. Returning to an Eastern dietary approach, rather than consuming a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, can help combat these epidemics. Dr. Ali visited hospitals, health centers, colleges, and clinics across India to spread the word about the Kickstart India program and the benefits of a vegan diet.
The Physicians Committee has recently formed an advisory board to help grow the Kickstart India program. If you are interested in helping with this effort, please contact Dr. Ali at zali@PCRM.org.
Spanish Kickstart is a Hit
The Spanish Kickstart is currently the most popular 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program. More than 14,000 people have participated in the Spanish Kickstart just this year—and the numbers continue to grow. In April, more people signed up for the Spanish Kickstart than the English-language version. The Physicians Committee’s Spanish resources have been downloaded thousands of times, with the website receiving continuous traffic.
The continued success of the international 21-Day Vegan Kickstart programs shows that there is a global interest in nutrition and plant-based diets. And with 196 countries in the world, there is still ground left to cover!