Media release: Can a plant-based diet help Australians live longer?

For immediate release

Attention: health, medical, lifestyle editor

Issued: 14 February 2019

The Australian Medical Association laments that many medical students are "graduating with significant gaps in their knowledge of nutrition and related health problems, adding to the nation’s health bill from chronic disease." Hot on the heels of the recent EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health, twenty leading healthcare practitioners from across the world are converging in Melbourne this weekend to discuss the role nutrition can play in promoting healthier, longer lives for their patients – and their colleagues.

Dr Neal Banard - image credit: Steve Shapiro
Dr Neal Banard - image credit: Steve Shapiro

The keynote speaker at the inaugural Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference (NIHC2019) is US physician Dr Neal Barnard MD. With over 30 years of research behind him, Dr Barnard is one of the foremost experts on the subject of plant-based nutrition for the prevention and reversal of chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and obesity.

Founder and President of the non-profit organisation Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr Barnard has led numerous peer-reviewed studies, written more than twenty books and been interviewed for numerous TV and film productions including The Dr Oz Show, Super Size Me and What The Health. Barnard also features in the two Southern Hemisphere documentary film premieres being screened as part of the NIHC2019 – code blue and Diet Fiction.

Dr Barnard will present alongside other medical doctors, registered dietitians, allied healthcare professionals and patient case studies on the latest science about the leading lifestyle factor to influence health outcomes: our diets. From UK gastroenterologist and gut health expert Dr Alan Desmond, to local Australian general practitioners and many other specialties in between – each presenter has been convinced by the growing body of peer-reviewed evidence that points to what we eat as being a significant contributor to our health outcomes. The message they are coming together to share at this sold out event is that a whole food plant-based eating pattern is the key to reducing our chances of succumbing to chronic diseases at all stages of life.

Doctors For Nutrition hopes to bring light to the emerging movement towards utilising plant-based nutrition in the frontline of best-practice preventative medicine.

Some of the other leading presenters at the NIHC2019 are Dr Scott Stoll, former Olympian and co-founder of the US non-profit organisation The Plantrician Project; Dr Renae Thomas, an Australian lifestyle medicine practitioner currently based in North America’s only Blue Zone – Loma Linda, California; and New Zealand general practitioner Dr Luke Wilson, co-author of the BROAD Study – a community-based lifestyle intervention which established impressive weight loss and associated health benefits without calorie restriction.

Australia faces a growing epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases. This proliferation of ill health has doctors and the general population alike beginning to look more critically at what’s on their plates. Can our collective menus predominantly take the blame and ultimately provide the solution to our expanding waistlines and hospital waiting lists? Doctors For Nutrition – the new Australian registered health-promotion charity hosting the NIHC – hopes to bring light to the emerging movement towards utilising plant-based nutrition in the frontline of best-practice preventative medicine.

“A plant-based diet is a powerful prescription for good health. Many of the world’s leading killers – from heart disease and type 2 diabetes to certain types of cancer – can be prevented by focusing our diets on plant-based foods. I’m looking forward to joining some of the world’s top nutrition experts at the Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference in discussing the latest research in this exciting field.” – Dr Neal Barnard, MD



Conference Snapshot

Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference: Melbourne Docklands, 15-17 February 2019. All tickets are now sold out, however limited media passes remain. Conference website | Conference Facebook event HERE Nutrition in Healthcare Conference event graphics and photos: Google Drive folder HERE Code Blue trailer: Watch HERE | Diet Fiction trailer: Watch HERE

New Zealand events DFN is also holding two New Zealand nutrition events in February, where keynote speaker Dr Neal Barnard will be joined by Dr Scott Stoll and local experts (including Australian and New Zealand general practitioners, Dr Luke Wilson, Dr Mark Craig, Dr Heleen Roex and Dr Juliette Roex) to share their expertise on how we can revolutionise our health through food:

  • Wellington: 19th February 2019 - includes the NZ premiere of the newly released documentary, code blue.

  • Auckland: 20th February 2019

Reach the experts

Dr Neal Barnard MD and the other Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference 2019 presenters and patient case studies as well as the Doctors For Nutrition global advisory council team of healthcare practitioners have made themselves available for direct media comment/interview (either in person, via phone/Skype or email). Please contact us for an introduction and any further assistance.



Download a PDF version of this media release here.

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