Physicians prescribe ‘Food as Medicine’ in health challenge

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The Kickstart Your Health Atlanta medical team (left to right): Jennifer Rooke, M.D., M.P.H., Neil Cooper,M.D., Reginald Mason, M.D., and Karen Goodlett, M.D.

ATLANTA — On Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, four Atlanta physicians will prescribe a plant-based diet to help patients  treat the root cause and early symptoms of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease for 21 days.

The dietary pattern—rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes—is scientifically proven to boost metabolism, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and stabilize blood sugar.

“Patients often think that their chronic diseases are inherited because everyone in their family has the same health problems,” says Jennifer Rooke, M.D., M.P.H., a board certified preventive medicine specialist and medical director of the Optimal Health and Wellness Clinic at Morehouse Health Care. “In fact, what they share with their families is their lifestyles and eating habits. We’re here to empower everyone with the knowledge and skills to change their eating habits by moving vegetables from a side dish to the main entrée.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds adults in Georgia consume 2.6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day—half of the recommended daily five.

The good news is small changes count: Consuming 1.5 daily servings of leafy greens slashes type 2 diabetes risk by 14 percent. While adopting an entirely plant-based vegan diet reduces diabetes risk by 62 percent.

Outside of the latest scientific research and federal recommendations to encourage Americans to eat more plant-based foods, Dr. Rooke knows about the power of “food as medicine” firsthand: She is the only one in her family who doesn’t take medications to control hypertension, elevated cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.

The Kickstart Your Health Atlanta team, led by Dr. Rooke, Neil Cooper, M.D., Reginald Mason, M.D., and Karen Goodlett, M.D., is eager to show residents how to put this powerful prescription into everyday practice. Free grocery store tours and nutrition classes starting on Oct. 26 coincide with National Diabetes Awareness Month.

To sign up for the 21-day plant-based nutrition challenge or to learn more about local events, visit

The Physicians Committee is a nonprofit health organization, founded in 1985 by Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research. –  USNewswire

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