Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives

St. Helena, CA, April 20, 2007 – Harvard Medical School (HMS) and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) today launched their pioneering initiative Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives: A Leadership Conference Bridging Nutrition Science, Health Care, and the Culinary Arts. At this unique, semi-annual gathering­held at the CIA’s Greystone campus in Napa Valley­health professionals from around the country will participate in seminars led by Harvard scientists and in hands-on cooking workshops led by CIA chef-instructors as they explore the delicious possibilities of healthful food and its preparation.

Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives, a novel collaboration between two leading educational institutions, is designed to provide the hundreds of health care professionals attending the sold-out conference with the latest scientific findings about diet and nutrition combined with practical, healthful cooking skills, ideas and inspiration. The goal of Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives is for attendees to take what they have learned at the conference and incorporate it into their own lives, enabling them to become role models and teachers for their patients­akin to successful efforts in the 1970s to personally enlist physicians in giving up smoking, and thereby increase their credibility and effectiveness when they counsel patients to stop smoking.

In the battle against obesity and other lifestyle-linked diseases­and with estimates that healthier food choices could save Americans $90 billion a year in health care costs and lost productivity1­the stakes are high to spawn a movement within the medical community that puts physicians in a better position to encourage healthier food choices and lifestyles among their patients, the broader healthcare community, and the media.

“What if physicians and other medical professionals had the necessary skills to model healthy eating behaviors themselves? Wouldn’t this impact their instructions and advice to their patients?” asks David M. Eisenberg, MD, Bernard Osher Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School and co-director of the conference. “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives is intended to attract, inform, and inspire this and the next generation of medical professionals and food industry leaders to serve as role models for change when it comes to healthy eating.”

In plenary and break-out sessions, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health faculty members will present the “state of the science” in diet and nutrition research, including: advice for diabetic patients about carbohydrate choices; “good” and “bad” fats; deconstruction of popular diets; mindfulness and exercise for weight management and healthy lifestyles; and the relationship between diet and cancer risk. The nutrition science conference faculty include Harvard’s Walter Willet, MD, DrPH, Sanjiv Chopra, MD, FACP, and Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH, among others.

During kitchen sessions, CIA chef-instructors will teach health care professionals how to use simple techniques from Mediterranean, Asian and Latin cuisines­along with other flavor strategies­to increase the appeal of meals primarily based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, healthy oils, and low-fat proteins. Kitchen workshops will include Healthy Fats and Oils: Of Hot Pans and Cool Salads; Healthy Lunch Strategies: Culinary Adventure for Mid-Day Appetites; and Healthy Desserts­The Dessert “Flip” and Other Seductive Ideas.

Attendees will also explore strategies for food shopping, including affordable options for individuals and families on tight budgets.

“This unique partnership between The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard Medical School brings together the great strengths of both organizations-the CIA’s expertise in culinary arts education and HMS’s expertise in areas of health, nutrition, and medical research and education,” notes Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America. “Our objective is to give physicians and other healthcare professionals the culinary tools to translate the best of nutrition science into flavorful, well-prepared meals, in the hope that they will be inspired to pass this new understanding on to their patients.”

The next Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives leadership conference will be held October 4-7, 2007, at the CIA’s Greystone campus. For complete information about this educational initiative, including a list of companies supporting the conference with academic grants or participating as exhibitors, visit www.healthykitchens.org.

1 Frazäo, E. “High Costs of Poor Eating Patterns in the United States.” In: Frazäo E, ed. America’s Eating Habits: Changes & Consequences. Washington, D.C. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999.
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor’s and associate degrees in the culinary arts and baking and pastry arts. A network of more than 37,000 alumni in foodservice and hospitality has helped the CIA earn its reputation as the world’s premier culinary college. Courses for foodservice professionals are offered at the college’s main campus in Hyde Park, NY and at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, CA. CIA at Greystone also offers baking and pastry, advanced culinary arts, and wine certifications.
For more information, visit the CIA’s Web site at www.ciachef.edu.

Harvard Medical School has more than 7,000 full-time faculty working in eight academic departments based at the School’s Boston quadrangle or in one of 47 academic departments at 18 Harvard teaching hospitals and research institutes. Those Harvard hospitals and research institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Forsyth Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and the VA Boston Healthcare System. For more information, visit hms.harvard.edu/.