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Eric Adams, the vegan mayor of New York City is ringing in the changes on many fronts, including providing school kids with healthy vegan options and introducing a massive expansion of a medical program that focuses on plant-based nutrition. 

New York City is known as one of the greatest cities in the world, and rightfully so. Renowned for its world-class dining, theater, buildings, and museums, NYC has it all. Although it may be challenging to find an abundance of vegan-friendly options in certain areas of the country, if you’ve come to NYC, you’ve definitely landed in vegan heaven. So it is quite fitting that the city’s mayor, Eric Adams is vegan!

After temporarily losing his vision to Type 2 diabetes, as well as his many other health problems including permanent nerve damage in his hands and feet that the doctors stated would lead to amputation he also noted that five medical experts said his health complications were hereditary and irreversible. “I [also] had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”

It was time for a complete change and he decided to adopt a vegan diet. “I met some amazing doctors who told me how food impacts us,” Adams said. “I saw a doctor in Ohio at the Cleveland Clinic, and he told me I could reverse my condition if I would change what I was eating.”

Three weeks after converting to a vegan diet, Adams regained his vision. Three months later, the nerve damage to his extremities disappeared and his diabetes went into remission. He’s since lost 35 pounds, lowered his cholesterol by 30 points and has gained more energy and clarity of mind. Most significantly, he reversed the adverse affects of his Type 2 diabetes.

After learning firsthand about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, Adams used his positions as Brooklyn Borough President and now NYC Mayor to help New Yorkers gain access to plant-based education, medical treatment, and meals. “Let me be clear – changing to a plant-based diet saved my life, and I aspire to be plant-based 100 percent of the time,” Adams told VegNews in an emailed statement. “I want to be a role model for people who are following or aspire to follow a plant-based diet, but as I said, I am perfectly imperfect, and have occasionally eaten fish.”

After learning firsthand about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, Adams used his positions as Brooklyn Borough President and now NYC Mayor to help New Yorkers gain access to plant-based education, medical treatment, and meals. Despite his admission of having occasionally eaten fish, Adams remains steadfast in his commitment to helping New Yorkers thrive with new plant-based initiatives.

Now he wants to get vegan meals to kids in school. New York City’s public school system has rolled out its ‘Vegan Fridays’ program, offering plant-based options in school cafeterias. Children will be offered chickpea wraps, veggie tacos, rice bowls and salads. Students can still request a non-vegan option, and staples like milk, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hummus and pretzels will always be available. New York City public schools, which have 938,000 students, have been offering Meatless Mondays since 2019 and Meatless Fridays since April. Vegan options are already available in all of the city’s public schools every day, but starting Friday and continuing weekly, the main lunch offering will be vegan.

“I can’t tell people what to put on their grills on the weekend. But darn it, we should not be feeding the health care crisis in our prisons, our hospitals, and most importantly, in our schools, so we want to go in a more healthy direction,” Adams said in an interview on WNBC-TV on Friday. Nearly 40 per cent of New York City public school children in grades K-8 were overweight or obese, according to data cited by the city in 2019.

Adams also pushed through a massive expansion of a medical program that focuses on plant-based nutrition. An extension of the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program spearheaded by Adams, the first-of-its-kind program focuses on providing whole-food, plant-based nutrition and lifestyle counseling to critically ill patients and was initially implemented at the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue medical system. “We know that evidence-based lifestyle medicine programs deliver powerful health outcomes, so seeing the significant expansion of these NYC Health + Hospitals programs to reach more communities affected by chronic disease and health disparities is inspiring,” Catherine Collings, MD, President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, said in a statement. “This is innovative, vital, and time-sensitive work that will make a dent in the impact of chronic disease in New York City and provide a model nationwide.”

“Together, we will stop feeding the health care crisis and ensure all New Yorkers can access the healthy lifestyle they deserve.”

NYC Health + Hospitals has also partnered with nonprofit Plant-Powered Metro New York, which will put on cooking demonstrations for King County Hospital patients. “Throughout the city, people from all walks of life are being inspired by the power of food for health. They want to learn how to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and other healthy plant foods onto their plates and into their daily routines,” Lianna Levine Reisner, president and network director for Plant-Powered Metro New York, said in a statement. “It’s a great step forward to have the investment of the public health care system in life-changing programs and services that prioritize evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle.”

Each of the hospital sites will be equipped with a full-time dietitian and health coach, as well as physician teams, who will help patients to regain their health through multi-pronged approaches that include a focus on plant-based nutrition. All plans are tailored to individuals based on cultural traditions, socioeconomic circumstances, and other key factors. Eligibility criteria for participants include heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, and/or health concerns related to obesity.

“Today, New York City is again leading the way with the most comprehensive expansion of lifestyle medicine programming in the nation,” Adams said in a statement. “This is personal to me – a plant-based lifestyle helped save my life, and I’m thrilled that New Yorkers in every zip code will have access to this critical programming. Together, we will stop feeding the health care crisis and ensure all New Yorkers can access the healthy lifestyle they deserve.”

Original source: https://vegnews.com