Did you know the leading cause of death in the United States is what we eat? According to this article however, most doctors don’t feel like they have the knowledge needed to properly guide their patients in good nutrition. In fact, in this article, it was revealed that most cardiologists receive little or no education in nutrition in medical school. In light of the fact that obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer are all closely linked to poor diet and lifestyle, and these diseases are leading causes of death and are on the rise, this is a sad commentary on our healthcare system.
Unfortunately, what we have is a sick care, not a healthcare, system, that is focused on treating symptoms rather than preventing disease, so the effects on our health of food and diet are largely ignored. There is no requirement for doctors to be educated in nutrition, the medical boards don’t include any questions on the subject and less than 1% of the time spent in medical school is focused on nutrition and its effect on health.
What is needed is a national standard for nutritional education that should be required for all medical students to learn. As they learn about conditions that are effected by diet and nutrition, they can be taught the dietary advice to give to their patients to manage the conditions. There is enough strain on medical students without adding extra classes for them to take. If the nutrition aspect was added as part of the curriculum along with teaching about the condition, the treatment plan can include dietary changes that support improvement of outcomes and possibly be less dependent on chemical intervention in the form of pharmaceuticals.