You are what you eat…right Doc?

Posted: October 28, 2016 in Medical Industrial Complex
Tags: , , , , , ,

When did your doctor last talk to you about your diet? We ask that very question in our no-holds-barred book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

 

Image result for overeating

 

Most are aware of the old adage, You are what you eat. It seems to us, though, that many members of the medical profession aren’t aware – or, if they are, they consider it an old wives’ tale.

In Medical Industrial Complex  we devote a whole chapter to this vexing issue. Here’s an excerpt:

We suspect that, more often than not, doctors only deign to discuss diet when a patient dares to raise the subject. And then, if your experience is like ours, you’ll be greeted with a frosty stare or, at best, a few mumbled banalities about not over-eating or the importance of a balanced diet or cut down on fats.

Which leads to more (related) questions: How long do doctors-in-training spend studying nutrition at medical school? And why isn’t nutrition on the curriculum alongside biochemistry, pathology, physiology and the like?  

These questions and more are raised in a very appropriate discussion thread on the ResearchGate.net site. A random selection of comments from that thread follows:

  • “We need clinicians to remember to consider nutrition when seeing/treating a patient rather than being a full nutritional expert. However they should know basics such as basic nutritional needs and guidelines, calculating and interpreting BMI, when to give nutritional support and be aware of the importance of using nutritional screening tools to see if referral to a dietitian is required.”
  • “I would be a staunch supporter of making nutrition a major field of study in a medical doctors pursuit of their degree.”
  • “Before health care providers can get into…details about individual response to nutrients and talk about personal nutrition, they need to establish their nutrition knowledge and clinical skills foundation. For physicians this needs to happen in medical school and requires a serious effort.”
  • “Considering the importance of nutrition for a patient’s recovery from disease and maintenance of health it is surprising that nutrition isn’t a bigger part of conventional medical school education.”
  • “It should be within the core responsibilities of doctors to address nutrition in patient care and it is essential that all doctors know the appropriate time to make a dietitian referral.”
  • “Why is it so hard to understand that robust familiarity with nutrition is equally or even more important (than surgery training)?”

To add some balance to the discussion, one contributor (from the University of Jordan) to the above thread observes that nutrition is “a specialized field and huge in its content.” He adds, “Medical students (are) overwhelmed by texts, labs, and courses. It requires an evolutionary plan to incorporate nutrition with medicine curricula”.

Medical educators at least pay lip service to the importance of nutrition, and they appear to be in general agreement that there’s not enough instruction on this topic in today’s medical schools.

For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) addresses this via its official online site AAFP News. In an article dated May 17, 2010, the writer reports that although most medical schools (in the US) offer some form of nutrition education, only one-quarter require a dedicated nutrition course.

The article continues, “In fact, the amount of nutrition education that medical students receive is so ‘inadequate’ that ‘medical school graduates feel unprepared to intervene in their patients’ care with regard to nutrition,’ according to the UNC preliminary survey results”.

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“I actually like how doctors talk. I like the sound of science. I like how words you don’t understand explain things you can’t understand.” –American author (Ms.) R.J. Palacio

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Another 2010 report – this one published by the US National Library of Medicine in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health – concludes that “The amount of nutrition education that medical students receive continues to be inadequate”.

That report summarizes a survey of 109 medical schools, which revealed that “most (103) required some form of nutrition education” of their students. The most disturbing revelation, however, is that “Overall, medical students received 19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction during their medical school careers”.

19.6 contact hours of nutrition instruction? During a med school course that takes, what, four or five years at least?

Let’s face it, sensible eating is probably the best single thing we can do to help ensure a healthy future as food governs the functions of our organs and figures prominently in both the contracting of illness and disease, and in our recovery from those ailments.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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