Since the beginning of the twentieth century, plant-based whole food diet and nutrition has gained increased popularity across the globe.  Everyday, we hear of celebrities and sport-stars adopting plant-based nutrition and advocating its benefits for the individual and society.

Not only well-known faces, but various organizations are turning to plant-based cultures. Among the inspiring pioneers of the plant-based movement, Kaiser Permanente– a healthcare organization in the United States needs special mention.


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About Kaiser Permanente It is the largest, non-profit, integrated, healthcare organization in the United States with over 200,000 employees and provides cover to over 4 million individuals. This healthcare consortium is based in Oakland, California, United States. It was founded in the year 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield.

Kaiser Permanente comprises of:

  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
  • Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and its subsidiaries
  • The Permanente Medical Groups

The physicians of Permanente medical groups are responsible for making the medical decisions and to provide care for Kaiser Members.  They continuously develop and refine their medical practices and skills to ensure that the care is delivered in the most efficient and effective manner.

Kaiser Permanente and whole plant-based movement

It was in the year 2013, Kaiser embraced the concept of plant-based nutrition. By dedicating themselves to education and advocacy on whole food plant-based nutrition, Kaiser is considered as one of the inspiring pioneers of the plant-based movement. They have spent decades in studying plant-based nutrition and have published several research papers in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Dr. William T. Wong, MD, a psychiatrist at the Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center is the one who started a plant-based movement within Kaiser Permanente. Being inspired from Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Diseasehe began to learn more about whole food plant-based diet. Dr. Wong became a passionate advocate for plant-based diet and lifestyle. He believed that plant-based diet is the key to health, health care, and physician wellness, and can increase the life expectancy by preventing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes.

Kaiser’s peer-reviewed medical science journal- The Permanente Journal released in the year 2013 encouraged physicians to start advocating whole food plant-based diets to their patients.

The article states “Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.”

Kaiser Permanente: Contributions

To encourage a plant-based lifestyle, Kaiser started their Healthy Living: Eat Healthy Live Better program in the year 2017. Kaiser also published various books on the subjects of dietary guidelines, resources, tips and action plans for adopting and maintaining a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Additionally, Kaiser Permanente offers Health Education classes including interactive sessions followed by cooking demonstration. They offer this plant-based education classes six times a year. The cooking demonstration classes includes some basic recipes and methods for preparing some delicious, home-cooked, meatless and dairy-free meals and snacks.


Here are some publications of Kaiser Permanente for physicians and layman to follow and advocate whole food plant-based diet and lifestyle:

  • Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.  Permanente Journal, 17(2): 61-66, Spring 2013.
  • Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide.Permanente Journal, 20(3):15-082, Summer 2016.
  • Plant-Based Diet(36-Page Booklet, 2015) for lay persons, Infants, Toddlers / Preschoolers and Teens as well.

To summarize, Kaiser Permanente advocates the benefits of plant-based diets and are working together to create a societal shift toward plant-based lifestyle.

“As I see skyrocketing incidences of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, I am profoundly aware that there is so much potential for preventing or even reversing most of these problems through very inexpensive lifestyle changes centered on proper nutrition.” 

— Carmelo Mejia, MD, Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente


  1. About Kaiser Permanente.
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  2. Kaiser Permanente.
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  3. Who is advocating a more plant-based diet?
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  4. Plant-based diet.
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