Health

We learn nothing about nutrition, claim medical students

Medical students say they currently learn almost nothing about the way diet and lifestyle affect health – and they should be taught more.

They say what they are taught is not practical or relevant to most of the medical problems they see in GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals.

A leading GP estimated that up to 80% of his patients had conditions linked to lifestyle and diet.

These included obesity, type 2 diabetes and depression.

Why does this lack of training matter?

This year the NHS will spend more than £11bn on diabetes alone – social care costs, time off work etc, will almost double that bill.

Type 2 diabetes – the most common kind – is linked to obesity. And right now Britain is the fat man of Europe.

Training too traditional

But doctors are not being trained to deal with what medics call non-communicable diseases – and it's those kind of illnesses that are threatening to bankrupt our health system, so a new kind of training is crucial.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, author and podcast host, told me: "The health landscape of the UK has dramatically changed over the last 30 or 40 years and I think the bulk of what I see as a GP now – almost 80% – is in some way driven by our collective lifestyles."

Dr Michael Mosley, presenter of BBC One's Trust Me I'm A Doctor, said, "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."

A hotbed of the new revolution is Bristol University where, in 2017, third year medical students Ally Jaffee and Iain Broadley founded Nutritank.

It's an online organisation created for and by medical students to share nutrition science research and organises events and lectures on campus.

This summer, it will welcome GP, author and podcast host Dr Rupy Aujla to Bristol to lead the first UK course in culinary medicine for medical students.

From one society in Bristol, Nutritank has now spread to 15 other student-led groups at universities across the country.

'It's time'

Ally Jaffee said: "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."

This month, the British Medical Journal announced it will launch a journal on the science and politics of nutrition in June 2018.

Dr Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ, told me, "It's time we recognised that food and nutrition are core to health. There is a growing body of research out there that needs to be published – and we want to contribute to that effort."

She said the same levels of quality and scrutiny should be applied to food science that are applied to other areas of health research.

The BMJ's announcement follows an opinion piece it published in October 2017 written by two University of Cambridge graduate medical students, Kate Womersley and Katherine Ripullone.

Kate said: "I was in an obesity clinic as part of my medical shadowing.

"A patient came in and said very frankly to the doctor, the consultant in charge, 'Why am I so fat?'.

"The patient was asking a very straightforward question and I think was expecting a straightforward answer. But often that's a question where doctors seem to clam up a bit.

"We were interested to write this piece for the BMJ, because we didn't feel prepared to be receiving that question."

You may also be interested in:

Medical schools in the UK are responsible for setting their own curriculum with guidance and standards published by the General Medical Council.

The GMC is now reviewing that guidance but so far it's been very general. It told us that it recognises the significance of the impact of diet and nutrition on health and wellbeing and has sought to express this more explicitly in its revised "outcomes" that will be released this summer.

Things are also beginning to change at medical schools. University of Cambridge told us it plans to double the amount of core course content on nutrition and has asked Kate and Katherine to help.

Similarly, Bristol medical school has sought input from students to redesign its curriculum.

Meanwhile, Prof Sumantra Ray of NNedPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health told us his organisation is involved in rolling out training in diet and nutrition for student doctors by 2020.

Kate said: "Students need to see nutrition as something at the cutting edge of scientific discovery.

"I think there needs to be an image change of how doctors perceive nutrition, but also how it's presented to students."

You can hear more about this story on The Food Programme on Radio 4 at 12:32 BST on Sunday or on iPlayer afterwards.

Original Article

BBC

Related Articles

145 Comments

  1. Heya! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

  2. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  3. I have taken note that of all lotopyeer varieties of insurance, medical insurance is the most dubious because of the turmoil between the insurance cover company’s duty to remain profitable and the user’s need to have insurance policy. Insurance companies’ commission rates on well being plans are very low, therefore some companies struggle to gain profits. Thanks for the concepts you share through this website.

  4. Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  5. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  6. Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a really neatly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  7. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  8. Right here is the right site for anybody who wants to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for ages.

  9. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  10. When I originally commented I clicked the «Notify me when new comments are added» checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

  11. Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button