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Plant-based cuisine to get push at NYC hospitals thanks to new partnership

The city’s mayor is teaming up with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to train doctors, dietitians and other healthcare workers on the benefits of plant-forward diets, stress management and more.
salad with kale and quinoa
Plant-forward nutrition is a key component of lifestyle medicine. / Photo: Shutterstock

Plant-based fare is about to get an even bigger spotlight at healthcare facilities across New York City.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has teamed up with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to train local doctors, dietitians and other healthcare workers on the benefits of so-called lifestyle medicine, which aims to prevent and treat disease through a variety of behavioral changes.

There are six tenets of lifestyle medicine, according to a news release, and those are: a healthy, plant-forward diet; exercise; quality sleep; stress management; avoiding risky substances and maintaining positive social connections.

The partnership offers employees a series of online courses on lifestyle medicine and nutrition. NYC Health + Hospitals, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and NYU Langone Health are among the first 20 facilities to participate.  

“Diet and other lifestyle behaviors play an enormous role in health outcomes, and yet nutrition and lifestyle change are underemphasized in many health professional training programs,” Michelle McMacken, executive director of nutrition and lifestyle medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals, said in the release. “This partnership is truly groundbreaking, helping health care professionals leverage one of the greatest tools to improve patients’ lives.”

Adams, who is vegan, has been an avid proponent of plant-based cuisine and has supported efforts to increase plant-based options across the city, notably in K-12 schools. Through another mayoral partnership, NYC Public Schools earlier this year launched its Chefs Council, a group of 12 chefs and other foodservice professionals tasked with developing more than 100 plant-based recipes for students to test. The council is being chaired by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.  

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