No bitter pill - docs learn to prescribe veggies too

WASHINGTON • Eating well can help prevent chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. So why aren't more doctors prescribing broccoli and flaxseed?

Despite the wealth of research linking nutritious diets to disease prevention, food receives little attention in most physicians' practices.

But a shift is slowly happening, doctors say. More are recognising the link between food and health and advancing their nutrition knowledge to provide better patient care.

The National Academies of Science recommend a minimum of 25 hours of nutrition education for medical students, but a study last year showed 71 per cent of medical schools failed to meet that goal.

"Food touches our patients in so many conditions - diabetes, celiac disease, food allergies, high blood pressure - we need more education about food and nutrition so we can be better physicians," says Tulane University School of Medicine's associate dean for clinical services Timothy Harlan.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2016, with the headline 'No bitter pill - docs learn to prescribe veggies too'. Print Edition | Subscribe