NYC’s mayoral front runner just gave $ 10,000 to a medical school to study plant-based nutrition
That month, Brooklyn District President Eric L. Adams approved a discretionary grant of $ 10,000 to support plant-based nutrition education at the State University of New York’s Downstate College of Medicine (SUNY). The funds are used to establish the Food as Medicine Initiative, a supplementary program to the existing nutrition curriculum. SUNY students are offered online courses from eCornell and the Gaples Institute, and enrollment in the program begins this month.
Last year, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University established the Committee on Plant-Based Health and Nutrition, a multidisciplinary initiative of the SUNY College of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office with the ultimate goal of helping communities like Central Brooklyn residents suffering from diet-related diseases – including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers – learn about plant-based diets as a form of medicine.
“Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are common in our communities, and a plant-based diet is an effective tool for prevention and treatment,” said Elizabeth P. Helzner, PhD, MS, Associate Professor and Interim Professor at SUNY Downstate Epidemiology and Biostatistics . “We are excited to share this great educational content with our medical and public health students.”
Heal New York with a Plant-Based Diet
This fellowship from the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office is a continuation of Adams ’personal plant-based journey. Before going vegan in 2016, Adams struggled with debilitating diseases, including type 2 diabetes, which resulted in him losing some of his eyesight and mobility, and was predicted by his doctor that he was likely to lose fingers and toes due to nerve damage would. After removing animal products from his diet, Adam’s health improved rapidly. Adams now supports plant-based training for medical professionals to save other New Yorkers from diet-related diseases.
“My very own health journey to overcome type 2 diabetes taught me the importance of a healthy diet. It was also during this time that I learned how little practicing physicians know that food can be medicine and that students who are trained to be medical professionals often receive little to no nutrition education, ”said Adams. “We believe the Food as Medicine Initiative will change the paradigm and ensure that future doctors, nurses and other health professionals are equipped with the knowledge of the benefits of plant-based diets so that they can more effectively treat patients with certain chronic diseases and encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle. ”
This initiative is one of many that Adams implemented during his career as Brooklyn Borough President. In 2018, Adams not only helped bring plant-based meals to the menu of 1,200 NYC schools, but in 2018 led the NYC Health + Hospitals / Bellevue’s $ 400,000 Herbal Lifestyle Medicine Program, focused on delivering of whole foods, plant-based nutrition and lifestyle advice for seriously ill patients.
Could NYC Have Its First Vegan Mayor?
In November 2020, Adams officially announced his candidacy for NYC Mayor. Adams is running against notable candidates including former NYC Plumbing Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Ahead of the upcoming June 22 primary, Adams is consistently ahead of the field in public polls, including two conducted last week. A Fontas / Core Decision poll placed Adams five points ahead of Garcia with 18 percent of the vote, while a WPIX / Emerson poll put Adams and Garcia statistically tied. In an election on November 2, 2021, Adams would be NYC’s first vegan mayor.