Plant Powered Planet: Issue 1

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Plant Based Health Professionals UK Lockdown has transformed the way healthcare professionals interact with patients, and in June 2020, a group of vegan doctors started to set up a new service for patients – Plant Based Health Online. Born out of the Plant Based Health Professionals UK, PBHO offers lifestyle medicine consultations, including advice on plant-based diets via video consultations. Dr Shireen Kassam, founder of the PBHPUK, details the background and purpose of this ground breaking new initiative.

ORIGINS

I

founded PBHPUK back in 2017 when I realised there wasn’t a health professional organisation providing evidence-based education on whole food plant-based diets. For several years prior I was learning and educating myself on the topic and realised most of this education was coming mainly from the US. I realised there was a gap within the UK and felt compelled to fill this through the work of PBHP UK. We have always modelled ourselves on PCRM.org led by Dr Neal Barnard. He has

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really been a leader in this field and provided the basis for me to start the UK equivalent. I also wanted to provide likeminded health professionals and other individuals a forum and network to belong to so that we could learn and support each other and ultimately have a stronger voice in the area of food and health within the UK.

GROWTH We are a membership organisation, with membership open to all, not just health professionals. This is because we recognise that as

healthcare professionals, we have a lot to learn from ‘ordinary’ people who have used a dietary approach to prevent and management chronic illness. We want our network and education to be relevant to all. We started membership in 2019. Year 1 we gained 200 members, year 2 we totalled 600 members and if we continue at the current pace we will reach over 1000 members by the end of 2021. Approximately two-thirds of members are healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, dietitians, nutritionists, physiotherapists, pharmacists etc and