Over half of all Americans are routinely consuming foods high in calories and fat, producing the obesity epidemic we face today. In response, universities are increasingly implementing programs to train future doctors on culinary techniques for making healthy meals and interpreting food labels. They will use this information to guide patients on leading beneficial lifestyles.
The University of Central Florida medical school and other colleges across the country are enacting Culinary Medicine course electives, according to the Orlando Sentinel. In these classes, students will learn how to cook nourishing and flavorful meals and communicate the recipes to future patients. They will also acquire knowledge on reading packaged food labels.
Pediatrician at Nemours Children’s Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at the UCF College of Medicine Dr. Robert Karch explains the purpose of the curriculum:
“We [physicians] have limited time to counsel patients about nutrition and healthy eating, but we haven’t been taught how to discuss these topics efficiently and effectively in the time that we do have.”
Who is at Risk?
One of the program’s experts, Dr. Jacquelyn Nyenhuis explains that 50% of deaths that occur from heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes are related to one’s diet. If physicians were better trained to direct individuals, perhaps thousands of lives could be saved each year.
As reported by Liberty Nation, 90% of males, 80% of females, and 50% of children in America may be overfat, which is a term that refers to an excess of body fat that increases the risk of illnesses. Such conditions that could result include nervous system inflammation, depression, cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and other severe afflictions.
These statistics should come as no surprise, however, as about 75% of food purchases in the country are of high-calorie items, such as cookies and sodas.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains that the longevity of Americans has surged in recent years as a result of advances in treating and educating the population on obesity and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the nation. However, many still follow fad diets, including detoxes, procedures, and other practices which have gained attention in recent years, according to LN.
Such methods most often merely lead to failure in achieving lasting results, and to possibly detrimental outcomes, such as dehydration and vitamin deficiencies. The popularity of unproven regimens has ultimately hampered living standards, causing many to continue with harmful eating habits and to feel hopeless about achieving fitness.
Some in academia argue that it is not a doctor’s place to lecture on adequate nutrition but is instead “fat shaming,” as reported by LN. Connecticut College professor Dr. Joan Chrisler claims that “microaggressions” urging overweight citizens to obtain a healthful lifestyle can deter patients from seeking expert help.
Medical professionals are responsible for encouraging beneficial living. Facts are not a danger to the wellbeing of sane individuals. The reality of threatening conditions resulting from improper eating is a crisis requiring confrontation.
Through educating clients on enhanced dieting techniques, physicians may decrease the risk of illness, leading to a more robust future for our nation. Together, all Americans can help end the obesity epidemic.