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    • 24 MAR 16
    Why You Shouldn’t Get Nutrition Advice From Your Doctor

    Why You Shouldn’t Get Nutrition Advice From Your Doctor

    General practitioners are really busy. Think about it.

    They are expected to know something about every single possible health problem that a patient may visit about.

    To stay up to date with all the latest medical research, on top of their job, is literally impossible.

    Nutrition knowledge and dietary advice is one such area where doctors often fall short. But it’s not for lack of wanting or effort…

    Research shows doctors never receive adequate nutrition training in the first place.


    Based on survey results of 106  US medical schools, only 32 schools (30%) required medical student take a separate nutrition course (1).

    Other studies, including European students, found similar results. In fact, the average total time that medical students spend learning about nutrition is 22-24 hours of their entire degree (2, 3).

    When you consider the range and influence of nutrition – all aspects of metabolic health, autoimmune health, nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, gut microbiome, food intolerance, and so much more – you begin to appreciate the size of the problem.

    The Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) represents a growing call for nutrition to be legitimised as medicine. Either doctors require more training, or dietitians need more authority.

    ACNEM CEO Stephen Penman says, “GPs are ideally placed to influence patient attitudes and behaviours. However there is little or no nutritional or environmental medicine education in GP curricula either during registrar training or for continuing medical education and professional development purposes.”

    Of course there are always exceptions, and many general practitioners I know are very well informed on the latest areas of nutrition research. But for the overwhelming majority, doctors are not the nutrition experts we usually consider them to be.

    At Darwin Dietitians we pride ourselves on nutrition know-how and staying up to date with the latest research. We can create a detailed and individualised meal plan that will help you on your way. Simply call us on 08 8927 3700 or enquire online here.

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