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New AR
Vegetarian Diet Report Is Launched
at Loma Linda University

Adventist school hosts Sixth International Conference on Vegetarian Nutrition. (Posted March 21, 2013)

BY HERBERT ATIENZA, media relations specialist, Loma Linda University Health, writing from Loma Linda, California

A
GLOBAL SENSATION: Tony Yang (standing), assistant vice president for public affairs at Loma Linda University Health, addresses a news conference, held in conjunction with the Sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, to announce the findings of a new landmark study on plant-based diets. The study garnered global headlines and media attention. Sitting on the panel (left to right): Dr. Miguel Ángel Martínez, lead investigator for the PREDIMED study and professor at University of Navarra, Spain; Dr. Joan Sabate, 6ICVN chair and chair of the Nutrition Department at Loma Linda University School of Public Health; and Dr. Sam Soret, associate dean for public health practice at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.
groundbreaking report on the benefits of a plant-based Mediterranean-style diet—news of which captured global headlines—was released at a scientific conference held at Loma Linda University.

A session at the Sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition (6ICVN) saw the first public presentation of an international headline-making landmark study by Spanish researchers that made a head-to-head comparison and determined that plant-based Mediterranean diets are better at reducing heart disease risks than a low-fat diet.

Miguel Ángel Martínez, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., lead investigator of the study called PREDIMED, for “PREvención con Dieta MEDiterránea” (“Prevention With a Mediterranean Diet”), said 6ICVN was a good place to unveil his study’s findings because they stand on groundbreaking research conducted at Loma Linda University, such as the landmark Adventist Health Study and a study on walnuts and heart disease.

“It is a good opportunity to celebrate the findings from these studies from two decades ago; it’s like closing the loop,” he said. “Our findings are very supportive of the research of those pioneering studies at Loma Linda.”

DELEGATES WELCOME: Dr. Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health, welcomes more than 800 delegates to the Sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, held February 24-26, 2103, at Loma Linda University Health. Next to him is Dr. Joan Sabate (center), 6ICVN chair, and chair of the Nutrition Department at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, and Dr. David R. Jacobs, Mayo professor, division of epidemiology, University of Minnesota.
More than 800 scientists, researchers, and public-health experts gathered for the 6ICVN event, organized by Loma Linda University School of Public Health. The event is held every five years and is the premier gathering of the world’s experts in plant-based nutrition and health.

At this year’s gathering, held February 24-26, 2013, at Loma Linda University Drayson Center, delegates participated in dozens of seminars, workshops, and presentations exploring such topics as the link between diet and longevity, how plant-based diets can help prevent and treat major chronic diseases, and the sustainability of plant-based diet lifestyles.

“I have been attending the Vegetarian Congress since the fourth one, because I’m a vegetarian and there are many new things that I learn,” said delegate Hiroshi Yamaji, 52, of Tokyo, director of health ministries for the Japan Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

“I feel very blessed by the lifestyle I have,” he continued. “I have been a practicing vegetarian since I was born, and I see the benefits in it. I am glad there is now strong scientific support for it.”

Delegates received a rousing welcome from Loma Linda University Health officials at the start of the events.

LARGE ATTENDANCE: More than 800 delegates attended the Sixth International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, held February 24-26, 2013, at Loma Linda University Health.
“It’s a real privilege for Loma Linda to be identified with this congress, which is the premier international conference for research in plant-based diets,” said Richard Hart, M.D., Dr.Ph., president of Loma Linda University Health, during his welcome. “Loma Linda has pioneered efforts that now allow us to gather here. Vegetarianism is no longer an Adventist thing or a novelty. It has become a science-based way of life for many people.”

Joan Sabate, M.D., Ph.D., 6ICVN chair, and chair of the Nutrition Department at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, noted the event has grown each time, and this year’s attendance easily surpassed the expected 700 delegates. “The interest from both the Adventist community and the scientific community is increasing,” Sabate said.

“Vegetarian nutrition is one of the stalwart research themes of Loma Linda University School of Public Health,” said Tricia Penniecook, M.D., M.P.H., who is dean of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. “During the congress, scientists, practitioners, academicians, students, and members of the community at large learned more about how a vegetarian lifestyle can be taught and implemented in practical ways.”





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