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Food as Medicine Essentials

Reposted sections from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and McGovern website.

Coze Health Medical is a premiere lifestyle medicine clinic in Indiana founded by Dr. Timothy O'Donnell, one of the initial board certified lifestyle medicine physicians and certified in Lifestyle Medicine and Food as Medicine Essentials.

Why does this matter? It's no secret that nearly 90% of healthcare spending in the country is related to lifestyle behaviors. We believe that lifestyle medicine is synonymous with value=based care, as it helps to rein costs and produces superior patient outcomes.

In May, the McGovern (D-MA)/Burgess (R-TX) resolution (HRes 784) directly addressed nutritional training in medical education The resolution confirms it is essential for physicians and other clinicians to receive adequate nutrition and other lifestyle medicine training as an important step to becoming certified in the field of lifestyle medicine.

McGovern has led the push for a White House conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health with leadership set to present this conference which hasn't been on the roster for over 50 years.

“We cannot continue to ignore the correlation between diet and health. It’s time to make sure our medical providers are equipped with the best knowledge and tools to help their patients,” McGovern said on the House Floor, just prior to the resolution’s passage. “I want to thank Dr. Burgess for his partnership in this important bipartisan effort. Nutrition, food access, and health are not only directly connected to each other, they are directly connected to our progress as a nation. It is time we treat them as such.”

“As a cardiologist, I’ve witnessed first hand the needless patient suffering that follows from the lack of attention to diet,” said Dr. Stephen Devries, a preventive cardiologist who co-leads the Nutrition Education Working Group with Dr. Walter Willett based at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Sadly, physicians typically haven’t played a meaningful role in helping to guide patients to better nutrition because they haven’t received the nutrition education they need. Medical educators often report that there isn’t time in the curriculum to teach nutrition, but somehow time is always found to educate physicians about the latest drugs and procedures. I am very appreciative of the high-level acknowledgment of the importance of this issue evidenced by the bipartisan support and passage this week of the U.S. House of Representatives Resolution on Nutrition Education in Physician Training. Does it take an act of Congress to finally convince medical educators that nutrition education for physicians is not optional? Apparently, the answer is, yes.”

“I am thrilled that the House of Representatives passed a resolution today calling for widespread and meaningful nutrition education for physicians and other health care professionals. We have long known that food and nutrition play a vital role in health and wellness, affecting both individuals and society as a whole. This resolution demonstrates that the education of healthcare providers about these topics is a national priority, and I am hopeful that it will move us towards a future where our next generation of doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, and other providers will have the knowledge needed to promote health and address diet-related health conditions for their patients,” said Emily Broad Leib, Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.


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