WASHINGTON—Washington residents who struggle with inflammation and its symptoms, including weight problems, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol may soon leave the doctor’s office with a prescription for broccoli, a can of beans, and just a side of medicine.
Barnard Medical Center, founded by Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and author of more than 70 clinical research studies, will open its doors to the public on Jan. 5, 2016, and integrate nutrition and medicine into every visit, bringing diet to the forefront of primary medical care.
“We have an opportunity to change the paradigm of how we prevent, treat, and reverse chronic disease by using lifestyle, specifically food, as medicine,” says James Loomis, M.D., medical director for Barnard Medical Center. “The approach is simple and it’s effective.”
Angie Eakin, M.D., M.S., Stephen Neabore, M.D., and Emily Kasmar, N.P., will join Dr. Loomis in using dietary prescriptions and state-of-the-art medical treatment to help patients take control of their health and fight back against chronic disease, which accounts for 70 percent of premature deaths and 75 percent of health care spending in America.
A team of registered dietitians, led by Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., and Cameron Wells, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.E., will help provide additional one-on-one counseling, extended group support, and weekly Food for Life nutrition education classes, where grocery store tours, cooking demos, and learning how to read nutrition labels are part of the curriculum.
“DNA is not destiny,” says Dr. Eakin. “Positive diet and lifestyle choices can profoundly affect your risk of disease and its progression.”
The American Dietetic Association endorses a healthy plant-based diet at every stage of life, noting vegetarian diets are associated with a lower body mass index and a reduced risk of heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, hypertension, and some forms of cancer.
Barnard Medical Center is a nonprofit medical center, founded by Neal Barnard, M.D., integrating nutrition and medicine into complete primary care. Visit BarnardMedical.org to learn about its extended focus on using dietary interventions for weight loss, heart health, diabetes, and pain.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.