Are doctors nutritionists? What is the role of doctors in providing nutrition advice?

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

Abstract

Diet and nutritional status impact on health outcomes. The global rise of dietrelated
non-communicable diseases plus the double burden of obesity and
malnutrition means that it is imperative more than ever that all healthcare
professionals are able to provide at least basic evidence-based nutrition advice.
Improving an individual’s diet requires more than just information provision, it
requires consistent and long-term support to change and maintain new
behaviours. Doctors acknowledge that nutrition plays a crucial role in health and
agree that providing nutrition advice is part of their role. However, providing
sufficiently detailed nutrition advice that is relevant to a patient’s health goals,
useful for the patient, and that results in measurable changes, is not common in
practice settings. Numerous challenges and barriers have been identified for why
doctors do not provide nutrition recommendations to their patients. A lack of
nutrition education and training, time constraints during appointments, and
patients who have access to an ever-growing body of nutrition and health
information via the Internet and social media, together may explain why doctors
tend not to include nutrition advice in their care plans. This paper outlines both
short- and long-term strategies for improving doctors’ engagement with nutrition
interventions and collaborative working with dietitians in the context of
collaborative care. Having doctors support and advocate for evidenced-based
nutrition practice is a crucial element of the World Health Organization’s
Decade of Action on Nutrition achieving measurable success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • doctors, general practitioners, medical curricula, medical profession, nutrition education

Cite this

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title = "Are doctors nutritionists?: What is the role of doctors in providing nutrition advice?",
abstract = "Diet and nutritional status impact on health outcomes. The global rise of dietrelatednon-communicable diseases plus the double burden of obesity andmalnutrition means that it is imperative more than ever that all healthcareprofessionals are able to provide at least basic evidence-based nutrition advice.Improving an individual’s diet requires more than just information provision, itrequires consistent and long-term support to change and maintain newbehaviours. Doctors acknowledge that nutrition plays a crucial role in health andagree that providing nutrition advice is part of their role. However, providingsufficiently detailed nutrition advice that is relevant to a patient’s health goals,useful for the patient, and that results in measurable changes, is not common inpractice settings. Numerous challenges and barriers have been identified for whydoctors do not provide nutrition recommendations to their patients. A lack ofnutrition education and training, time constraints during appointments, andpatients who have access to an ever-growing body of nutrition and healthinformation via the Internet and social media, together may explain why doctorstend not to include nutrition advice in their care plans. This paper outlines bothshort- and long-term strategies for improving doctors’ engagement with nutritioninterventions and collaborative working with dietitians in the context ofcollaborative care. Having doctors support and advocate for evidenced-basednutrition practice is a crucial element of the World Health Organization’sDecade of Action on Nutrition achieving measurable success.",
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Are doctors nutritionists? What is the role of doctors in providing nutrition advice? / Gibson, S.; Adamski, M.; Leech, M.; Truby, H.

In: Nutrition Bulletin, Vol. 43, No. 2, 06.2018, p. 147-152.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

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AB - Diet and nutritional status impact on health outcomes. The global rise of dietrelatednon-communicable diseases plus the double burden of obesity andmalnutrition means that it is imperative more than ever that all healthcareprofessionals are able to provide at least basic evidence-based nutrition advice.Improving an individual’s diet requires more than just information provision, itrequires consistent and long-term support to change and maintain newbehaviours. Doctors acknowledge that nutrition plays a crucial role in health andagree that providing nutrition advice is part of their role. However, providingsufficiently detailed nutrition advice that is relevant to a patient’s health goals,useful for the patient, and that results in measurable changes, is not common inpractice settings. Numerous challenges and barriers have been identified for whydoctors do not provide nutrition recommendations to their patients. A lack ofnutrition education and training, time constraints during appointments, andpatients who have access to an ever-growing body of nutrition and healthinformation via the Internet and social media, together may explain why doctorstend not to include nutrition advice in their care plans. This paper outlines bothshort- and long-term strategies for improving doctors’ engagement with nutritioninterventions and collaborative working with dietitians in the context ofcollaborative care. Having doctors support and advocate for evidenced-basednutrition practice is a crucial element of the World Health Organization’sDecade of Action on Nutrition achieving measurable success.

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