Ireland held its first plant-based nutrition conference earlier this month.
The event, called 'Food as Medicine, an evidence-based introduction to plant-based nutrition' took place at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin on March 9.
The conference sold out in less than three weeks without advertising or the use of social media. More than 70 general practitioners as well as hospital doctors, dieticians and other healthcare professionals participated amongst the 130 attendees at this event organized by Plant- Based Doctors Ireland.
There were talks by medical experts in the field of cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular disease. Compelling patient stories and experienced Irish GPs shared their knowledge of what plant-based nutrition looks like in primary care, and gave practical tips on how to incorporate this approach into patient consultations.
The conference included a talk on the hot topic of sustainability and how what we eat impacts upon our environment. 'Happy Pear' twins David and Stephen Flynn shared their personal experiences in making healthy plant based nutrition popular and accessible over the last decade.
"It was so rewarding to be presenting this valuable information to practicing doctors as the potential domino effect is so powerful," says Dr. John Allman, a Dublin based GP trainer. He completed the e-Cornell Plant-based nutrition certificate in 2016 and actively encourages his patients to eat more plants.
Diet and climate change
Irish general practice has recently been strongly supporting an active approach to climate change by the profession. The cover story on the front of this month’s Journal of the Irish college of General Practitioners reads 'Critical condition- Why GPs must lead on planetary health'.
This follows a week after WONCA, the world organisation of family doctors, publishing a report titled Declaration Calling For Family Doctors Of The World To Act On Planetary Health.
In addition, plant-based doctors Ireland have been asked to present at the ICGP annual conference on May 3, 2019 at the National Convention Centre in Dublin.
"It is such an exciting time to be encouraging patients to go more plant-based as both the health and environmental concerns are making this a mainstream issue," said Dr. John Allman, who is a founding member of Plant-based Doctors Ireland.
The conference talks will become available to watch online here in coming weeks