PCRM Presents at the 5th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition
Imagine a room filled with top scientists from around the world, sharing their research, debating the latest studies—all focused on the benefits of a plant-based diet. That’s exactly what took place in early March when Loma Linda University hosted the 5th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition in Southern California.
More than 700 attendees—mostly health professionals and academics, including several PCRM representatives—came together to discuss the most current research on plant-based diets and vegetarian nutrition, in particular how they promote health and prevent disease. This year, the conference also surveyed the global repercussions of vegetarian food choices, including environmental effects.
The event has grown in popularity over the years, as has PCRM’s involvement. This year, three PCRM nutrition experts shared important information with the congress; all presentations were exceptionally well received.
PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., discussed findings from his government-funded study testing the benefits of a low-fat vegan diet on type 2 diabetes. Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., shared information on PCRM’s innovative and popular weekly webcast on diabetes.
Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., PCRM senior nutrition scientist and assistant professor of health and wellness for the University of North Carolina-Asheville, participated in a panel titled “How to Better Position Vegetarian Diets in the Upcoming Dietary Guidelines.”
Dr. Lanou also filled in for Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.PH., the esteemed professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, in a debate on whether dairy foods should be part of a healthy vegetarian diet. Dr. Lanou debated Connie Weaver, chair of the Department of Food and Nutrition at Purdue University, who has received funding for some of her research from the dairy industry. Finally, Dr. Lanou made a presentation on PCRM’s petition to the Federal Trade Commission challenging the dairy industry’s misleading weight-loss claims.
Many other fascinating presentations filled the three days, including talks by Gary Fraser, M.B., C.H.B., a professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Care at Loma Linda University, Joan Sabaté, M.D., Dr.PH., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Loma Linda University and congress chair, and David Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., from the University of Toronto.