Journal Articles

Nutrition Competencies in Health Professionals’ Education and Training: A New Paradigm

January 15, 2015

Nutrition Competencies in Health Professionals’ Education and Training: A New Paradigm Adv Nutr. 2015 Jan 15, Kris-Etherton PM1, Akabas SR2, Douglas P3, Kohlmeier M4, Laur C5, Lenders CM6, Levy MD7, Nowson C8, Ray S5, Pratt CA9, Seidner DL10, Saltzman E11.

  • Penn State University, University Park, PA;
  • 2Columbia University, New York, NY;
  • 3University of Ulster, Londonderry, Northern Ireland;
  • 4UNC Schools of Medicine and Public Health and UNC Nutrition Research Institute, Chapel Hill, NC;
  • 5U.K. Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom;
  • 6Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA;
  • 7Georgetown University Hospital and Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, DC;
  • 8School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia;
  • 9National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD;
  • 10Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN; and.
  • 11Tufts University, Boston, MA.


Most health care professionals are not adequately trained to address diet and nutrition-related issues with their patients, thus missing important opportunities to ameliorate chronic diseases and improve outcomes in acute illness. In this symposium, the speakers reviewed the status of nutritioneducation for health care professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Nutrition education is not required for educating andtraining physicians in many countries. Nutrition education for the spectrum of health care professionals is uncoordinated, which runs contrary to the current theme of interprofessional education. The central role of competencies in guiding medical education was emphasized and the urgent need to establish competencies in nutrition-related patient care was presented. The importance of additional strategies to improve nutrition education ofhealth care professionals was highlighted. Public health legislation such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act recognizes the role ofnutrition, however, to capitalize on this increasing momentum, health care professionals must be trained to deliver needed services. Thus, there is a pressing need to garner support from stakeholders to achieve this goal. Promoting a research agenda that provides outcome-based evidence on individual and public health levels is needed to improve and sustain effective interprofessional nutrition education.

© 2015 American Society for Nutrition.

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