Congressional Briefing on EAT for Health and ENRICH Acts: Improving Nutrition Education among Health Care Professionals

The Physicians Committee

Legislative Focus

Congressional Briefing on EAT for Health and ENRICH Acts: Improving Nutrition Education among Health Care Professionals

On Friday, April 4, the Physicians Committee hosted a Congressional briefing entitled “Improving Nutrition Education among Health Care Professionals” with honorary hosts Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH), and panelists Dr. Martin Kohlmeier, Dr. Charlotte Pratt, Dr. Garth Davis, and Caroline Trapp, and moderated by PCRM President Dr. Neal Barnard.

Seven out of every ten deaths are caused by preventable chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and stroke where diet is a major factor. More than 75 percent of health care expenditures are due to chronic disease.

Even though nine out of ten doctors express the need for more nutrition counseling in primary care visits and over half of medical school students desire more nutrition education, less than 15 percent of primary care visits include nutrition counseling and nearly three out of four medical schools do not offer basic nutrition education.

The Congressional briefing highlighted two important bills that will increase nutrition education and awareness among health care professionals to comprehensively address chronic diseases.

The Expanding Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act, sponsored by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), establishes a $15 million grant program to integrate nutrition education into medical school curricula.

The Education and Training (EAT) for Health Act, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), ensures a certain number of credits in continuing medical education (CME) go to nutrition for federally-employed health care professionals.

Speaker Presentations

Please click on the links below to access the speakers’ presentations:

About the Speakers

Martin Kohlmeier, M.D.

As a research professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, and primary investigator in the UNC Nutrition Research Institute Nutrigenetics Laboratory, Dr. Kohlmeier has more than 30 years of experience in nutrition research. He has developed novel biochemical methods for the assessment of dietary intake and nutrient adequacy.

A lead author and developer of numerous online nutrition courses for medical students and healthcare professionals, he also authored a comprehensive textbook on nutrient metabolism. He is the founding chief science officer of PogoHealth, Inc., which helps the public make dietary supplement choices.

Dr. Kohlmeier is the project director of accredited Nutrition in Medicine (NIM) and Nutrition Education for Practicing Physicians (NEPP) projects—used by more than 100 U.S. medical schools and many international institutions—and has contributed to the development, implementation, and evaluation of numerous computer-based multimedia programs.

Charlotte A. Pratt, Ph.D, R.D.

Dr. Pratt is a widely published researcher and a Program Director in the Prevention and Population Sciences Program in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Pratt is the former Program Director for the NIH Nutrition Academic Award (NAA) Program that funded 21 medical schools to integrate nutrition education into curricula from 1998-2005 and convened a working group to provide recommendations that would revitalize the NAA program.

Garth Davis, M.D.

Dr. Davis is a bariatric surgeon at The Davis Clinic in Houston, Texas, and is passionate about physicians understanding nutrition’s role in health. As a leader in the field of bariatric medicine, Dr. Davis was recently recognized as a Texas Monthly Super Doc and stars with his father Robert Davis, M.D., on the medical reality series Big Medicine.

Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., B.C.-ADM, C.D.E.

Ms. Trapp is a nurse practitioner specializing in the care of people with diabetes at Premier Internists, a division of the Millennium Medical Group, P.C., in Southfield, Mich.

As the Physicians Committee’s director of diabetes education and care, Trapp also manages a variety of diabetes prevention and reversal initiatives, including continuing medical education programs and patient education materials for health care professionals.

In honor of her outstanding work, Trapp was named Diabetes Advocate of the Year by the American Diabetes Association in 2001 and was a finalist for the American Association of Diabetes Educator's 2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year Award.

Neal Barnard, M.D.

Dr. Barnard is the founder of the nonprofit Physicians Committee, an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and author of 15 books and three PBS specials on diet and health.

Dr. Barnard’s most recent study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, finds vegetarian diets lower blood pressure and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.


Curing doctors' dangerous lack of nutrition education” The Hill, op-ed by PCRM’s President Dr. Neal Barnard

Doctors prescribe support for Rep. Tim Ryan's nutrition education bill” The Plain Dealer

Press Releases

Grijalva Introduces EAT for Health Act to Encourage Focus on Nutrition, Disease Prevention Through Good Diet in Medical Education Office of Rep. Raul Grijalva

Reps. Ryan, Cassidy, and Grijalva Introduce Legislation to Improve Nutrition Education among Healthcare Professionals Office of Rep. Tim Ryan

Take Action

Tell your Representative to co-sponsor the EAT for Health and ENRICH Acts today and share our action alert widely.