Greater Federal Efforts Are Needed To Improve Nutrition Education in U.S. Medical Schools

CED-80-39: Published: Jan 2, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 2, 1980.

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Despite its importance to health, nutrition is not taught adequately in many medical schools. As a result, many physicians may not know as much as they should in order to make nutritional assessments or counsel patients about diet.

Medical schools train physicians primarily to look for and treat nutrition related diseases after they occur rather than preventing them through nutritional assessment and dietary counseling. While current Federal spending for health programs totals about $63 million, in fiscal years 1972-79 the Bureau of Health Manpower spent less than $3 million for nutrition education grants to 23 medical schools. No evaluations have been made of the results of 10 completed grants, nor are there plans to evaluate them or the 13 ongoing grants that were funded at the end of fiscal year 1979.

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