Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A Greek Australian health professional has created a new lifestyle program that aims to educate hospital patients of the benefits of a healthy diet to reduce stress and anxiety of patients during rehabilitation and speed up the recovery process. Qualified nutritionist Stratis Rozakeas MA, RD – who now lives in the US – noticed the health benefits of patients when they were making healthier food choices through programs he introduced around sustainability and green initiatives. Recycling compost programs, music therapy and horticultural therapy and therapeutic gardening are initiatives that Mr Rozakeas introduced to help patients in their rehabilitation. The rooftop garden, for example, allows the patients create their well-being, and the idea has been incorporated in other health care facilities that have shown to improve clinical outcomes. “We are looking at how we can look at and identify the standards of quality care in hospitals and how we can improve on in areas that may need improving so it’s a continual process,” Mr Rozakeas tells Neos Kosmos. “I introduced music therapy for patients. I also had therapeutic meals for our eating disorder patients. “The campus that I was at we had oncology patients, eating disorder psychiatrics, rehabilitation.” Through these therapies, Mr Rozakeas says that it reduces anxiety and stress in patients and helps in promoting healing and speeding the recuperation process. Mr Rozakeas says the patients with eating disorders can be challenging to normalise their eating and help them create and make smarter food choices and therapeutic meals. By introducing organic and sustainable food to the diets of the patients in the hospital, he is able to teach the patients how to combat chronic health diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease – diseases that are all linked to the food choices. “My whole educational component is to inform people to make healthy food choices from an early age – or any for that matter, so they can develop healthier food patterns and at least minimise preventable chronic disease such as obesity and heart disease which are huge in America and Australia as well. Mr Rozakeas said that two thirds of the population in the US are overweight and obese, and says that Australia is following suit. To combat this and improve food for patients, Mr Rozakeas is part of a health leadership team in the San Francisco Bay area in order to improve the quality of food for patients as part of the global initiative Health Care Without Harm. “It’s about empowering people and relating to people in an intelligent dignified way,” says Mr Rozakeas.