Despite the key role that food plays in public health, the majority of physicians are ill-equipped to answer basic questions about food and nutrition. On average, U.S. medical schools offer less than 1% of total lecture hours in nutrition education. Most patients consider physicians to be the most credible sources of guidance about diet and food and would like to talk to their physicians about these topics, yet the majority of graduating medical students rate their nutrition knowledge as “inadequate.”
Since 2017, the Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) has collaborated with the Nutrition Education Working Group, a group Since 2017, the Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) has collaborated with the Nutrition Education Working Group, a group of faculty and students at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health, and the Gaples Institute, to explore a range of policy options to increase food and nutrition education among doctors. In fall 2019, FLPC released a report that identifies a range of national policy options to increase food and nutrition in medical education. FLPC continues to work with partners to support change on a federal, through cohosting a congressional briefing, supporting introduction of a congressional resolution, and other outreach to policymakers and healthcare professionals. We also have worked with local- and state-based partners to publish tailored issue briefs on policy opportunities for provider nutrition education, including for New York and Massachusetts.