Former Olympian and physician, Dr. Scott Stoll, will be back in Midland via our computer screens for the fifth-annual Food is Medicine seminar. He will be joined with some of the nation’s most recognized doctors, researchers and scientist who have made sharing the power of nutrition in preventing and reversing many common diseases their life’s passion.

The two-day seminar put on by Healthy City, a local nonprofit, will run Friday and Saturday through a virtual conference platform. During the two days, attendees will hear from Cyrus Khambatta, PhD; Michael Klaper, MD; William Li, MD; Jim Loomis, MD; Reshma Shah, MD; Saray Stancic, MD; and Scott Stoll, MD. Topics will range from strength and conditioning, cancer, autoimmune disease, pediatric nutrition, sleep and stress, diabetes and gut health.

“Dr. Stoll has been an integral part of our local Food is Medicine movement,” Healthy City Board President Marcy Madrid said. “He has played an important role in helping us make Midland the healthiest city in Texas since our inception.”

Even when Food is Medicine fell victim to the pandemic in 2020 like many area events, Dr. Stoll was the first to take his presentation virtual. He knew that the message provided during the one-day seminar could impact many lives. The other presenters agreed. Each presenter took their turn throughout the rest of 2020 presenting their scientific-findings of the power of whole-food, plant-based eating.

The message of food’s impact on health is more important than ever with the recent studies of the impact nutrition has played in protection from COVID-19. A recent study revealed that eating a plant-based diet rich in whole foods can help protect against COVID-19. The results showed that those eating a ‘high quality’ healthy vegan diet were both less likely to catch the virus, and less likely to be hospitalized with it. The data was a collaboration between Harvard Medical School and King’s College London. They gathered data from almost 600,000 individuals.

Another study that investigated healthcare workers across six countries who had substantial exposure to the COVID-19 virus showed that those on a plant-based diet had a 73-percent lower odds of developing moderate to severe COVID-19 severity. Those following ‘low carbohydrate, high protein diets’ had greater odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19.

“We know that nutrition plays a key role in preventing disease,” said Madrid. “So, to see studies of the extra protection those on a whole-food, plant-based diet has just reassured us that our mission in spreading this message is more important now than ever.”

Healthy City wants to share that message with as many people as possible. The pandemic has created an opportunity for Healthy City’s reach to stretch beyond West Texas and the Southwest.  Currently registrations stretch from Iowa to Oregon.

“We hope that our virtual program this year encourages our out of state attendees to consider making the trek to Midland when we offer the conference in person again,” Madrid said.

You won’t want to miss this two-day event. The conference will offer networking opportunities as well as an expo area. The eight presentations will be available to attendees for replay through Sunday. You can register at 

A special thank you to this year’s presenting partner, Midland Health; Main stage sponsors, Abell-Hanger Foundation, Bryant Family Foundation and West Texas National Bank; and Networking Sponsors Frost and Henry Resources.

Valerie Acosta is the executive director of Healthy City.

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