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Culinary Medicine and the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Time for a Leadership Role

Published:March 27, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2019.01.012
      The robust evidence base linking healthy dietary patterns to well-being and a lowered risk of disease have prompted an array of strategies focused on strengthening undergraduate and graduate medical education and training in nutrition across the United States.
      Nutrition education in medical school: A time of opportunity. 2014.
      • Kris-Etherton P.M.
      • Akabas S.R.
      • Bales C.W.
      • et al.
      The need to advance nutrition education in the training of health care professionals and research to evaluate effectiveness.
      The call for medical education reforms by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Academic Health Centers, the American Heart Association, and other advisory organizations focuses on broadening training programs in medical education to include interprofessional education, an array of prevention topics including lifestyle medicine and expanded nutrition education, and skill building by means of varied experiential, inquiry-driven, and clinical activities.
      • Conroy M.
      • Delichatsios H.
      • Hafler J.
      • Rigotti N.
      Impact of a preventive medicine and nutrition curriculum for medical students.
      • Pomrehn P.R.
      • Davis M.V.
      • Chen D.W.
      • Barker W.
      Prevention for the 21st century: Setting the context through undergraduate medical education.
      • Phillips E.
      Introducing lifestyle medicine in undergraduate medical curriculum.
      • Aspry K.
      • Van Horn L.
      • Carson J.S.
      • et al.
      Medical nutrition education, training, and competencies to advance guideline-based diet counseling by physicians.
      Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interprofessional education in nutrition as an essential component of medical education.
      • National Research Council (US)
      Committee on Nutrition in Medical Education. Executive Summary. Nutrition education in US medical schools.
      • Liason Committee on Medical Education of the American Association of Medical Colleges
      Functions and structure of a medical school: Standards for accreditation of medical education programs leading to the MD degree. March 2016.
      Broadening medical training in nutrition to include culinary medicine (CM) has also emerged as one response to these education reforms. Prominently positioning registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) as leaders in CM program development is critical to our profession because this role capitalizes optimally on our training and blunts the misconception that RDNs’ scope of expertise in physician training lies only in medical nutrition therapy. From this article, the reader can expect to gain necessary background information, learn about important resources, and receive guidance for creating a CM program.
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