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New Program Teaches Medical Students About Healthy Eating

West Virginia program prepares students to discuss topics in healthy eating and exercise with patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) — West Virginia has introduced a program to teach medical students how to talk to patients about healthy eating, and deliver practical advice to engaged patients, according to a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Noting that chronic disease practice guidelines routinely call for lifestyle change and that fewer than one in four physicians feel adequately trained to counsel patients about making such changes, a new program, called Medical Curriculum in Health, Exercise, and Food Science, has been introduced in West Virginia to teach medical students about healthy eating.

The program is based on students’ experience in the kitchen and includes dietitian-led teaching about shopping for healthy foods, and professional chef-led instruction on use of these foods to create good, quick, healthy, and affordable meals. The University’s Eastern Division was awarded a grant to teach nutrition, culinary science, and exercise as medicine to third-year students. Components of the curriculum are being incorporated into the school’s other campuses.

According to the article, the program’s “goal was to create a thought-provoking experience for the students that would inspire them to stay tuned in to ongoing nutrition conversations, as well as those in the exercise as medicine movement, while at the same time guiding them toward decisions about how to discuss these topics with their patients.”

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