Although diet can be a factor in many chronic health conditions, surprisingly, U.S.-trained doctors receive little or no formal training in nutrition. (Estimates are that, on average, students in medical schools spend less than 1% of lecture time learning about diet.) Staff and students at the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic would like to see that knowledge gap rectified.
In the report Doctoring Our Diet: Policy Tools to Include Nutrition Training in U.S. Medical Training, the group issued recommendations for improving nutrition education in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education. The report says that nutrition education should be required in medical school and that physicians should be required to take continuing education courses in nutrition to maintain medical licenses. The end goal? Supporting better health outcomes for patients.