Medical students say they are not learning enough about nutrition

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 26 Mar 2018
Medical students say they are not learning enough about nutrition
Medical students are not being sufficiently taught about nutrition and its link to preventative medicine, according to a BBC review.

Sheila Dillon, presenter on BBC Radio 4's Food Programme, interviewed third year medical students at Bristol University who are striving to counteract a lack of nutritional teaching at universities.

They have created an online organisation called Nutritank, which shares nutrition and science research. Nutritank has since expanded to 15 other student-led university groups across the UK.

Co-founder Ally Jaffee told the BBC: "There's just about a society at medical school in everything from sexual health to orthopaedics to dermatology. But there just wasn't a nutrition and lifestyle or a preventative medicine society.

"We're taught about 10 to 24 hours over five to six years in medical school on nutrition."

UK medical schools are responsible for setting their own curriculum in accordance with General Medical Council (GMC) guidelines, and the GMC is now reviewing its guidance to reflect the lack of education on nutrition.

Given the importance of the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes, and how eating healthily can put type 2 diabetes into remission, it is surprising to observe how minimal education on nutritional in universities appears to be.

Dr Michael Mosley, presenter of BBC One's Trust Me I'm A Doctor, added: "Unfortunately it's not part of the traditional training. At medical school I learnt almost nothing about nutrition. And I have a son at medical school and it's again not part of his key curriculum.

"So I don't get the sense that there are lots of doctors out there who feel empowered to tell patients much about nutrition."

Research continues to show how eating a healthy diet is pivotal to reduce the risk of health complications. Earlier this month The BMJ announced it will launch a journal on the science and politics of nutrition in June 2018.

For more information on why eating real food and avoiding processed food is so important, visit our award-winning Low Carb Program, an education platform which has helped more than 35% of people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes reduce the number of medications they are on.
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