Culinary Medicine programmes to improve nutrition education for doctors

Medical school programmes are expanding but underfunded: Study

Culinary medicine programmes are emerging at medical schools to meet a critical need to improve nutrition education in an era of unprecedented diet-related health problems including obesity and cardiovascular disease, according to a review of programmes by UT Southwestern researchers in the US.

The programmes utilise teaching kitchens to give health professionals practical skills to help patients make evidence-based dietary changes while celebrating nourishing, accessible, affordable, and delicious food.

The researchers identified 34 medical student-focused culinary medicine courses, utilizing a variety of curricular and assessment strategies that lack standardization and measurement of competencies. While the programmes have a positive impact on student wellness and nutrition knowledge, they struggle with adequate funding and faculty support.

According to the findings, the time is ripe for increased support. Suboptimal diets are well established as a driving force for increased morbidity in obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes, and the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the relevance of metabolic health in food insecure communities.    

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