Two of the world’s leading plant-based nutrition experts will address symposiums in Wellington and Auckland next week following a major inaugural conference in Melbourne this weekend.

US based physicians Dr Neal Barnard and Dr Scott Stoll are coming to New Zealand at the invitation of the recently formed Australasian non-profit organisation Doctors For Nutrition (DFN) and will speak in Wellington on Tuesday night (February 19) and in Auckland on Wednesday night (February 20).

Their NZ appearances will follow the inaugural DFN Australasian Nutrition in Healthcare Conference in Melbourne this weekend. In addition to presentations by over 20 healthcare professionals, the Melbourne conference also features the premiere of the new documentary, Diet Fiction. Tickets to the Australian conference have already sold out.

The Wellington event will feature the New Zealand premiere of Code Blue. This inspiring documentary follows the journey of US physician Dr Saray Stancic from a multiple sclerosis diagnosis to wellness through the implementation of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle changes.

The Auckland event will also include presentations from Australian pediatrician Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema (co-founder of DFN), medical doctor Juliette Roex and local general practitioner Dr Mark Craig.

New Zealand DFN ambassadors, Dr Luke Wilson (GP, Wellington) and Anna deMello (Canadian-registered Dietitian, Dunedin), say the events come as something of a watershed moment for thousands of New Zealanders now showing increasing interest in the health and environmental benefits of plant-based eating.

They note that last month’s EAT-Lancet Commission report on healthy and sustainable eating patterns, along with findings from a recent Colmar Brunton Better Futures report, suggest that 1 in 10 New Zealanders are now identifying as vegetarian or mostly meat-free. This growing adoption of plant-centric eating patterns points to important changes in both attitudes and practice among the population.

Dr Wilson says that DFN’s mission is to, “grow awareness about the benefits of whole food plant-based nutrition among the general public, healthcare professionals and within health institutions through education, outreach and research.”

DFN are also hosting the New Zealand premiere of Diet Fiction on February 28 in Auckland with special guest speakers – including the US film-maker Michal Siewierski and executive producer Peter Eastwood (NZ).

Dr Scott Stoll, MD

Co-founder and Board Chairman of The Plantrician Project. He is also co-founder of the annual International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference which enters its seventh year in 2019 and is attended by 1,000 physicians and allied health professionals.

Dr Stoll specialises in regenerative medicine and is a board-certified specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

As a member of the 1994 United States Olympic Bobsled Team, he is well suited for his additional roles as a team physician at Lehigh University, the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, and advising physician serving professional and Olympic athletes.

Dr Neal Barnard, MD

Dr Barnard established the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in 1985, and the Barnard Medical Center in 2016. He works with patients with diabetes, obesity, and other chronic conditions, and has published numerous clinical research studies.

He has written over 20 books for lay audiences, most recently including The Cheese Trap and The Vegan Starter Kit. He has appeared in numerous documentaries, including Super Size Me and What the Health, and television shows, including The Daily Show and The Ellen Degeneres Show.

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