I founded and officially launched the True Health Initiative exactly two years ago today in association with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. If anything, the financial and human toll of misinformation about our health in social and traditional media are even worse now. But greater, too, is the support for truth over trend, data over diatribe, epidemiology over ideology. The global coalition committed to sharing expert understanding of lifestyle as medicine- for people and planet alike- has grown ten-fold in these two years.
We began as a small gathering of physicians and nutritionists committed to common ground and fundamental truths we all relied on in our own lives, with our own families. We pledged ourselves to science, sense, and the consensus among us. We agreed we could disagree about this and that detail, yet stand together to share our common understanding with the world, to help raise the standard of common knowledge. We committed to pull together, pool our voices, find strength in unity- and be heard above the constant background din of fads, fashions, fake health news, hyperbolic headlines, and the false promises of hucksters, fools, and fanatics.
Today, we count among our ranks celebrated chefs; leading health coaches; former U.S. Surgeons General; famous authors; journalists; university deans; university presidents; CEOs; environmental, sustainability, and biodiversity experts; and many more among the 400+ experts from nearly 40 countries. We have come together across continents to say: We Agree.
We agree about the six core, evidence-based fundamentals of lifestyle as medicine. We agree about whole foods, mostly plants, in sensible combinations; about moderate exercise; about the management of stress, respect for sleep, and the avoidance of toxins like tobacco. We agree on the modifiable risk factors that stand between us and vitality, longevity, sustainability and a vibrant planet so that our children may know the same blessings.
There is so much confusion propagated by the constant noise of our modern culture and the new ways we have invented to disseminate information and misinformation alike, that the actionable fundamentals we have known about for decades are overlooked, neglected, or even disparaged.
The True Health Initiative is a response to that threat, and opportunity. We represent reliable, time-honored truth over the trend riding the latest news cycle, and the consensus of diverse experts- from Paleo to vegan, from agriculture to biochemistry, from public health policy to clinical practice- speaking with one global voice. We have come together for just one purpose: to help you add years to your life and life to your years, and so that those you love may do the same. We have families, too.
Since our beginning, we have established ourselves as a 501(c)3 federally authorized non-profit, hired full-time staff, partnered with educational platforms like Verywell.com, issued weekly media rebuttals and responses, and generated monthly newsletters and daily social content to spread basic and reliable truth. We issued our first White Paper on a crucial and badly misrepresented topic recently, and more will follow.
As we celebrate our milestones as a young non-profit, we are launching a gift campaign. We need your help to grow into the potent force for true understanding we are now positioned to be.
Funds will directly impact our communication efforts, research, and the global reach of our message (our key materials are now routinely translated into several languages and shared in countries around the world, including China). Please join our common cause to fight fads, titillating headlines, and the diverting nonsense of exaggerated research findings, to improve understanding about lifestyle as medicine on a global scale. We can have, and bequeath to our children, a world with 80% less chronic disease, 80% less premature death. We can have it- but we have to work for it, together.