Wednesday, 07 April 2021

Infinite Foods creates New Scholarship Program to Support Lifestyle Medicine Practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Infinite Foods creates New Scholarship Program to Support Lifestyle Medicine Practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa

Johannesburg, 7 April 2021 - Infinite Foods, Africa’s leading plant-based food platform, has announced that it has created a new scholarship program to help community physicians across Africa to be certified in Lifestyle Medicine. Lifestyle Medicine is the evidence-based practice of incorporating plant-based food, physical activity, positive sleep and destress habits into a patient’s life to proactively prevent, treat and reverse chronic disease.

In Africa, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is one of the most common lifestyle diseases and is responsible for 13% of all deaths. The rate of CVD-related deaths continue to increase by more than 50% over the past thirty years.1 Similarly the rate of diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is increasing drastically. It is believed that more than 60% of patients with diabetes in SSA are not aware of their condition.2 These numbers indicate the importance of proactive preventative measures in Africa’s health systems. Scientific evidence shows that the incorporation of a whole food plant-based diet can in fact reverse CVD, without the need for medication.3 With this knowledge, the growth of Lifestyle Medicine and certification of new physicians is more critical than ever. Evidence indicates that more than 80% of chronic conditions can be avoided with positive lifestyle changes.4

The Infinite Foods Scholarship for Lifestyle Medicine will be providing both financial support for interested physicians to study and complete the Lifestyle Medicine Certification Exam as well as establish Lifestyle Medicine organisations. Currently, the only countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a Lifestyle Medicine organisation are Nigeria and South Africa. The Infinite Foods Lifestyle Medicine Scholarship will be accessible for aspiring Lifestyle Medicine practitioners across Sub-Saharan Africa in the countries where Infinite Foods operates currently including South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana and Kenya. The scholarship will aid practitioners by covering up to 50% of the costs for the purchasing of necessary study materials for certification preparation and up to 75% of the costs for taking the exam (one exam per medical professional). Infinite Foods will also be providing monetary and in-kind contributions to incorporate and establish of new Lifestyle Medicine associations within these Sub-Saharan countries.

With this new scholarship program, Infinite Foods hopes to expand the number of African medical professionals who are certified in Lifestyle Medicine and help support the creation of local associations to provide health practitioners a community and to educate citizens and governments on the benefits of plant-based diets.

The creation of this scholarship is the latest initiative by Infinite Foods to further its commitment to promoting healthy, sustainable plant-based lifestyle in SSA.

Michelle Adelman, CEO of Infinite Foods, is optimistic that this scholarship will have a positive impact community. “In the past, Lifestyle Medicine certification has been cost prohibitive for many physicians in Africa. Through this scholarship we hope to further encourage the growth of holistic, preventative healthcare and plant-based nutrition in for the continent. Equipping more physicians with the knowledge of Lifestyle Medicine will help ease the economic burden of lifestyle diseases that are quickly becoming the leading killer on the continent.”

The Infinite Foods Scholarship for Lifestyle Medicine has already been used to support the formation of the South African Lifestyle Medicine Association (SALMA) which currently consists of six South African physicians. The Scholarship Fund will look to continue to expand SALMA’s success as they build awareness around lifestyle medicine in the country.

“The Infinite Foods Scholarship has been extremely helpful in coordinating the formation of our South African Association,” said Dr Bruentrup-Taylor and Dr Myeni, vice president and secretary of South African Lifestyle Medicine Association respectively.

“Infinite Foods has been incredibly helpful by sponsoring 2 of our founding physicians in obtaining certification. Infinite Foods have also been instrumental in assisting with the start-up of our organization by providing skills and knowledge that that a young organization like SALMA is grateful for. It’s very encouraging that Michelle and Infinite Foods believe in the importance of Lifestyle Medicine and the impact it will have on the African continent. It’s wonderful that they are making this part of their social responsibility to grow this movement.”

Infinite Food’s international portfolio extends to over 1,000 retail and food service outlets across South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana and Kenya. Infinite Foods is committed to providing consumers with delicious plant-based food options from both local and international brands and creating more opportunities for the plant-based industry to grow in Sub Saharan Africa.

Interested physicians should visit the Infinite Foods’ website (www.infinitefoods.com) for more information and the scholarship application.

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About Infinite Foods: Infinite Foods is Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading go-to-market platform for premier plant-based foods providing African consumers access to the most delicious and coolest plant-based food brands, creating employment, transforming agriculture and feeding the community.

Feed the World. Save the Planet.

FACEBOOK: /InfiniteFoodsAfrica
INSTAGRAM: @infinitefoodsafrica
TWITTER: @infinitefoodsafrica 

References:

  1. Yuyun, MF, Sliwa, K, Kengne, AP. Mocumbi, AO., Bukhman, G Cardiovascular Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa Compared to High-Income Countries: An Epidemiological Perspective
    https://globalheartjournal.com/articles/10.5334/gh.403/
  2. International Diabetes Federation https://idf.org/our-network/regions-members/africa/diabetes-in-africa.html
  3. Balazs I Bodai MD FACS et al., Lifestyle Medicine: A Brief Review of Its Dramatic Impact on Health and Survival, The Permanente Journal http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2018/6536-lifestyle-medicine.html
  4. Balazs I Bodai MD FACS et al., Lifestyle Medicine: A Brief Review of Its Dramatic Impact on Health and Survival, The Permanente Journal http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2018/6536-lifestyle-medicine.html
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