It is certainly not very often that I see accurate and positive media coverage regarding food choice. So, I am happy to say that Oprah took a large step in the right direction Tuesday by relating to millions of viewers some of the health benefits she and her staff experienced while on a vegan diet for one week during her “vegan challenge.” She and her staff members collectively lost 444 pounds, with one of her editors saying he felt better than he had in 10 years. Aside from a healthy weight loss, it is well-known now that vegan diets provide substantial nutritional advantages and reduce risk factors for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and overall mortality (see previous blog). Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued their 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which included two full pages devoted to the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan nutrition. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is promoting a “21 Day Vegan Kick Start” program that begins April 4. Read more about this at 21-Day Vegan Kickstart . This is clearly a good sign and her efforts are to be applauded, especially given the many years this topic has been suppressed in the media and on her show. More can be found about our culture and the difficulty we have with providing the correct information to the public about food choices in “Comfortably Unaware”, Tread Lightly.
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