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Journal of Biomedical Education
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 469351, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/469351
Review Article

Learner-Directed Nutrition Content for Medical Schools to Meet LCME Standards

1Department of Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, City College of New York, NY, USA
3Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Received 22 October 2014; Accepted 21 December 2014

Academic Editor: Balakrishnan Nair

Copyright © 2015 Lisa A. Hark et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Deficiencies in medical school nutrition education have been noted since the 1960s. Nutrition-related non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, are now the most common, costly, and preventable health problems in the US. Training medical students to assess diet and nutritional status and advise patients about a healthy diet, exercise, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption are critical to reducing chronic disease risk. Barriers to improving medical school nutrition content include lack of faculty preparation, limited curricular time, and the absence of funding. Several new LCME standards provide important impetus for incorporating nutrition into existing medical school curriculum as self-directed material. Fortunately, with advances in technology, electronic learning platforms, and web-based modules, nutrition can be integrated and assessed across all four years of medical school at minimal costs to medical schools. Medical educators have access to a self-study nutrition textbook, Medical Nutrition and Disease, Nutrition in Medicine© online modules, and the NHLBI Nutrition Curriculum Guide for Training Physicians. This paper outlines how learner-directed nutrition content can be used to meet several US and Canadian LCME accreditation standards. The health of the nation depends upon future physicians’ ability to help their patients make diet and lifestyle changes.