doctors and nutrition

BBC Report: Doctors “learn nothing” about nutrition

The BBC has just published a report claiming that doctors “learn nothing about nutrition” at medical school.

doctors notes

The report outlined and expanded on a discussion that was undertaken on The Food Show, BBC Radio 4, about the lack of nutritional education for doctors.

In the UK, the health service at the GP level is more about prescribing pills than dealing with the root cause of the condition, illness or disease. But why is this?

A GP on the BBC show came forward and said that he estimated that “80% of his patients had conditions linked to lifestyle and diet.”

“We’re taught about 10 to 24 hours over five to six years in medical school on nutrition.”

With diet and lifestyle being the leading cause of illness, then why are doctors not taught more about nutrition? The report claims that medical students learn almost nothing about the way diet and lifestyle affect health, but they want to know more.

The report goes on to say that if doctors knew more about nutrition then they could do more to help people with obesity and type 2 diabetes, which is at epidemic levels in the UK and will cost the NHS £11bn this year alone.


Dr Michael Mosley, presenter of BBC One’s Trust Me I’m A Doctor, said on the show, “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.”

There may be hope in the future though as the BBC report mentions medical students taking it on themselves to learn about diet & nutrition as they believe it to be very important. Including Bristol University students who created Nutritank which is an online organisation to help students learn more.

Earlier in the year the NHS reported on their website about the benefits of going vegan. Could this be part of the change that needs to happen to help fight disease in the UK? Should doctors be prescribing their patients juices and smoothies, or even a good old fashioned wholefood diet?



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