Even doctors make better eating decisions after they attend training sessions about cooking, according to research released by the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine publication.
About 400 medical professionals, including doctors, attended a nutrition conference and most took surveys about their own eating. A significant number of them reported improvement in dietary habits such as personal awareness of calorie consumption, frequency of vegetable consumption, nut consumption and whole grain consumption.
The medical professionals in the study also improved in their ability to assess a patient’s nutrition status and their ability to successfully advise overweight or obese patients regarding nutritional and lifestyle habits, according to the research report. The study was performed by Dr. David M. Eisenberg of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.
“Many health care professionals aspire to advise their patients about dietary habits and to serve as role models,” the authors wrote. “However, they, like the patients they serve, often lack the knowledge and practical experience to proactively advise their patients. Many medical students and physicians feel ill-equipped to counsel overweight or obese patients.”
The study advises more training, especially for people practicing medicine.
“We need enhanced educational efforts aimed at translating decades of nutrition science into practical strategies whereby healthy, affordable, easily prepared and delicious foods become the predominant elements of a person’s dietary lifestyle,” the report reads.