American College of Lifestyle Medicine Meets Critical Need f

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|Jan 10|magazine11 min read

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Diet has been identified as the single most important risk factor for morbidity and mortality in the United States, yet most health care providers spend relatively few hours learning about nutrition during their training. The need for more nutrition education in medical schools has been highlighted in a recent report of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.

To fill this gap, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine has announced the availability of its new 200-page book, Culinary Medicine Curriculum, a free resource focused on practical dietary behavior changes, food knowledge and cooking skills needed to move toward a healthier diet. The course author is Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA, FACLM, Chef, who created a highly successful culinary medicine elective course for medical students at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2017 with assistance from Julia Nordgren, MD, Chef, and Stanford colleagues, Maya Adam, MD, Tracy Rydel, MD, Christopher Gardner, PhD, and David Iott, Chef—all of whom except Iott are contributors on the Culinary Medicine Curriculum along with Emma Steinberg, MD, Chef, and Alaina Bever.

The curriculum, available via complimentary download at https://lifestylemedicine.org/culinary-medicine, is for use in medical schools and other health professional training programs but is easily adaptable for use in a variety of other educational environments.

"The nutrition education currently offered in most medical and other health professional schools is primarily didactic and focuses on the biochemistry of nutrients and health consequences of deficiency states—content of limited use in a clinical setting where the majority of the population faces overnutrition due to high intake of ultra-processed, calorie-dense foods," Hauser said. "Culinary Medicine is an evidence-based field that brings together nutrition and culinary knowledge and skills to assist patients in maintaining health and preventing, treating, and even reversing food-related disease by choosing high-quality, healthy food in conjunction with appropriate medical care."

While Culinary Medicine does not endorse a single dietary philosophy, this curriculum has been designed to focus on whole food, plant-based nutrition, a dietary pattern centered on foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. The whole food, plant-based diet is the only one shown to reverse coronary artery disease.

The curriculum, which takes into account world flavors and culinary traditions while keeping in mind time and resource constraints, also includes concrete strategies for health care providers wishing to partner with their patients on improving dietary choices.

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SOURCE American College of Lifestyle Medicine