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Friday, March 5, 2021

Vegan doctors launch medical service Plant Based Health Online

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Dr Laura Freeman and Dr Shireen Kassam have launched Plant Based Health Online, which uses vegan nutrition as a tool to help regain health.

Plant Based Health Online launched this week as the UK’s first CQC-registered online medical service for multidisciplinary lifestyles.

The service focuses on improving public health and reducing the impact of underlying health conditions. Founded by Dr Laura Freeman and Dr Shireen Kassam, the evidence-based healthcare approach includes helping patients transition to “a more sustainable whole-food plant-based diet” as well as physical activity, restorative sleep, alleviation of psychological stress and fostering social connections.

Plant Based Health Online provides doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers, health coaches, as well as patients access to the right expertise and support to make lasting lifestyle changes. Freeman and Kassam are both certified lifestyle medicine doctors with personal and professional experience in using the approach to optimise health and wellbeing.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted many aspects of our society that must change, and the current lack of focus on health promotion has highlighted the true vulnerabilities of the UK population,” said Kassam, who is the founder of Plant Based Health Professionals UK.

She added that that Plant Based Health Online isn’t just for vegans: “It’s a service for everyone who wants to improve their personal health, the health of their family members and, of course, the health of the planet. Our staff will meet patients wherever they may be on their journey to a healthier lifestyle.”

The online health service will work in tandem with NHS and private healthcare providers. A patient’s GP or healthcare professional will provide recommendations from their consultations, which offers an integrated service. This helps share the knowledge of a healthy plant-based lifestyle for doctors and health providers who may be unfamiliar with it.

Freeman and Kassam said they both have seen and documented firsthand how a healthy vegan diet can effectively treat conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, certain cancers, overweight and obesity.

Freeman, herself a cancer survivor, said: “To date, most medical schools offer very little training in nutrition or lifestyle medicine. But by encouraging people to adopt healthier choices we are putting preventative medicine first. With a focus on evidence-based dietary and lifestyle advice, we can promote improved physical and emotional health — whether a patient is a plant-based eater or otherwise.”

The service also offers one-to-one consultation services with healthcare experts specialising in a range of areas including gut health, weight loss, autoimmune diseases, cancer and fertility. The consultation prices start from £165, which entails a 45-minute consultation with a chosen professional, plus a 15-minute follow-up.

“In due course, with data to support its success, we plan to seek buy-in from clinical commissioning groups and become an established NHS resource,” said Kassam. “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought an opportunity for new, effective and more
convenient ways of accessing healthcare. Plant Based Health Online will use an online platform to make its services available throughout the UK, and for patients to access from their own home.”

Anay Mridul
Anay is the managing editor of The Vegan Review. A journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.