Eric Adams, current Brooklyn Borough President and proud vegan, just announced his candidacy to run for New York City’s next mayor. Adams’ platform is centered around public safety, reinvigorating the local economy and public health. For Adams, improving his city’s health is more than just a campaign slogan: After overcoming a struggle with type 2 diabetes by following a plant-based diet, it’s an issue close to his heart.

Adams Knows First-Hand the Benefit of Plant-Based

As the first person of color elected to serve as the Brooklyn Borough President, Adams has focused on how to improve the health of his community, given the disproportionate amount of people of color affected by the pandemic: “The increased suffering faced by people of color from COVID-19 is the result of structural racism in the health care system, as well as the food system. Disproportionate numbers of deaths in Black and brown communities from chronic disease predate the current crisis. While we fight for large-scale changes to improve healthcare, we must also take action immediately by improving the availability and consumption of the foods that we eat.”

Adams has been very busy during his time as the Brooklyn Borough’s President, partnering with the city’s primary medical system, NYC Health + Hospitals, to launch a plant-based medicine program, helping community partners distribute 2,000 vegan meals, and creating a PSA with 40 medical doctors urging New Yorkers of color to go vegan to stay as healthy as possible during COVID-19. Somehow, Adams even found the time to write a book, Healthy At Last, detailing his health journey of changing his diet, going plant-based, learning to cook, and researching where this idea came from that "soul food" has to be part of one's identity as a Black American.

Adams is Striving to Make Healthy Food More Accessible

In an interview, Adams talked with The Beet, explaining how his personal experiences, as both a Black American and type-2 diabetic, informed his mission to make his city a healthier one. “We need to be mission-driven when it comes to access to healthy food. The first thing we must do is embrace the power of food and health,” Adams said. “Right now, we are dealing with a medical crisis, and that's also partly food-related, or lifestyle-related since those who suffer the worst symptoms of COVID-19 are also often dealing with obesity and diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that are related to diet and lifestyle choices.”

If elected, Adams will be the city’s first vegan mayor; however, no matter the race’s outcome, it’ll be inspiring to see how Adams continues his mission to improve his community’s health.

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