Published on March 3rd, 2017 | by Publisher, Natural Awakenings New Mexico


National Conference Promotes Plant-based Nutrition to Prevent Disease

Recognized experts in medicine, nutrition and behavior change gather to share evidence on the best practices to prevent disease May 18 to 20 at the 4th annual national Plant-based Prevention Of Disease (P-POD) conference being held at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 7 of the 10 leading causes of death are chronic diseases, and half of American adults suffer from at least one. Yet, many of these diseases are preventable through dietary and lifestyle changes. Plant-based whole foods have long been associated with improved biomarkers of health, and those following a vegetarian diet have lower rates of nearly every chronic disease.

The conference, a nonprofit without commercial funding, brings together an unprecedented 33 distinguished speakers to discuss the latest research on dietary change for preventing disease throughout the U.S., via lectures and panel discussions. Special attention is given to public health challenges, such as diabetes, among Native Americans.

P-POD 2017 also commemorates the 25th anniversary of major nonprofit co-sponsor Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) launching the “New 4 Food Groups” (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes) as the foundation of diets which reduce our population’s risk of preventable diseases. Neal Barnard, M.D., PCRM president, was joined in this 1992 announcement by Denis Burkitt, M.D. and T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.

Dr. Burkitt, then in the final year of his life, had made the ground-breaking research discovery that fiber, the most distinct marker for plant-derived whole foods, was associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases such as colon cancer. And, this occasion arose less than two years after the New York Times proclaimed the striking first set of results from Dr. Campbell’s “China study” research, initiating worldwide recognition and renown. Accordingly, in celebration of all of this, the 2017 keynote address is named the First Annual Denis Burkitt Memorial Lecture and will be delivered by Dr. Campbell, who also founded nonprofit co-sponsor T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Other presenters include Brenda Davis, RD, Milton Mills, M.D., Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D., Michael Klaper, M.D. and Caroline Trapp, DNP, to name just a few.

Up to 17.5 hours of continuing education credits are available for a wide variety of professionals such as physicians, dietitians and nurses. P-POD is committed to affordable registration costs. The public is welcome and sizable student discounts are available.

The 2017 P-POD Theme is: “Evidence-Based Nutrition for the Entire Health Care Team: Reclaiming Simple Traditional Plant-based Foods in the Prevention / Treatment of Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases.” Additional nonprofit co-sponsors and collaborators include Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, University of New Mexico Section of Integrative Medicine and Center for Life, the Navajo Nation, New Mexico Nurses Association, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, Institute of American Indian Arts and Asian Indians in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Early bird registration discounts end March 8. For more information and to register, visit or or email 

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