The Med School Nutrition Gap

Here's a fascinating statistic:

"70 percent [of medical students] who have had some degree of nutrition education state that it has directly influenced the manner in which they care for patients and themselves."

Yet, many medical students are receiving limited exposure to nutrition education and training. Now add to this the dramatic rise in chronic diseases in the US and the growing trend in viewing food as medicine—particularly with respect to treating many of these chronic diseases.

All told, this represents an enormous gap in nutrition education and training that can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of Americans.

Nutrition education is increasingly common in medical schools, but many medical students are still receiving minimal nutrition education and training—far less than they need to be effective in helping patients adjust their diets to either prevent or treat chronic diseases.

While the nutrition gap in medical school can best be addressed by the institutions themselves, healthy food brands can continue to play an important role in supporting health professionals and their patients. First, by recognizing that allied health professionals, such as dietitians, nurses, diabetes educators, and health coaches often have considerably more nutrition training—and therefore, relevance and influence—than physicians. Second, by delivering high-value, actionable education materials that all health professionals can share in face-to-face counseling interactions with patients and clients.