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Bills Offer Cure for Doctors’ Lack of Nutrition Education

When the leading causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers, can often be prevented or treated through diet changes, it is difficult to believe that many medical students go through their entire education without a single required course on nutrition. But up until now, that has been the case. However, aspiring physicians and practicing doctors may soon get the nutrition education they desperately need thanks to two bipartisan bills introduced in Congress this spring.

The Expanding Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH) Act provides $15 million in grants for medical schools to incorporate nutrition into their curricula. The Education and Training (EAT) for Health Act requires federally employed health care providers to receive annual continuing education in nutrition.

This April, the Physicians Committee highlighted the importance of nutrition education at a Capitol Hill briefing hosted in partnership with Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, the bills’ primary sponsors. “With U.S. healthcare expenditures continuing to rise to unprecedented levels, we must do everything in our power to improve Americans’ diets,” said Congressman Ryan. “We need to raise awareness and reduce our risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes that are plaguing our nation and are directly connected with diet and lifestyle choices.”

More than three-quarters of medical school instructors admit that students need more nutrition education, and more than half of graduating medical students rate their nutrition knowledge as inadequate. Doctors also recognize the disconnect: Nine out of 10 believe that more nutrition counseling is needed in primary care, but only 14 percent feel qualified to offer it.

Urge your officials to support the EAT for Health Act and the ENRICH Act at PCRM.org/LF.



Urge your officials to support the EAT for Health Act and the ENRICH Act at PCRM.org/LF >


Good Medicine Magazine Summer 2014

Good Medicine
Summer 2014
Vol XIII No 3

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