Doctors Need Nutrition Education
Nutrition knowledge is essential for today’s physicians, according to a commentary published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, points out that overweight, diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer are driven by unhealthful diets, and most doctors do not have the nutrition knowledge to properly treat their patients. In a 2018 survey, 61 percent of internal medicine residents reported having little or no training in nutrition. While 94 percent of resident physicians recognize the importance of diet and feel that nutrition counseling should be part of patient visits, only 14 percent feel trained to offer it. Dr. Barnard recommends nutrition training for physicians, collaboration with dietitians, and a medical community that models and supports healthful eating habits.