Spectrum expands ‘lifestyle medicine’ program

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Spectrum Health said lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach that teaches people to practice behaviors meant to prevent, treat and often reverse chronic disease. Courtesy Spectrum Health

A health system is ramping up programming at the teaching kitchen at the Downtown Market.

Spectrum Health’s future plans aim for the market to be home to a specialty practice focused on lifestyle medicine.

Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach that teaches people to practice behaviors meant to prevent, treat and often reverse chronic disease, Spectrum said. The practice will be led by physicians certified in lifestyle medicine through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Through a lease agreement with the Downtown Market that increases access to the space, Spectrum said it will soon offer individual and group consultations at the Downtown Market to help guide and partner with patients to better manage their chronic diseases and improve their health. Ongoing support and consultation will be provided by registered dietitians and health coaches.

The Downtown Market will continue to host public cooking classes in the teaching kitchen while expanding its programming with a new series of workshop classes in the Incubator Kitchen. Customized group cooking classes will be moved to the market’s Incubator Kitchen.

Spectrum Health’s current Culinary Medicine Community Cooking classes include Intro to Plant-Based Eating, Heart Healthy Food Resolutions, Plant-Based Cooking in a Hurry, Brain Health, and Bone and Joint Health, with additional classes in the works.

The culinary medicine program initially was launched with a focus on educating health care professionals, including doctors in training, and has maintained this as a core feature of programming, Spectrum said.

Launching a culinary medicine program was a vision of the Downtown Market before its opening in 2012 and was a topic of discussion with Michigan State College of Human Medicine and Spectrum Health leaders, the partners said.

The first culinary medicine class at the market was hosted by MSU Extension in partnership with MSU College of Human Medicine in 2015. In the following years, culinary medicine classes were offered in partnership with Spectrum Health, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and the Downtown Market.

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