As more and more people have begun learning from alternative media and taking nutrition education into their own hands, doctors have become less and less trustworthy in the same department to many.
Most doctors are heavily trained in diagnosing diseases and various ailments, as well as in pharmacology and working with specialists to send patients to the right one.
But what about good old-fashioned nutrition? According to a 2010 study, doctors have a long way to go despite public perception that they are authorities or even experts in this department.
Nutrition education in U.S. medical schools was deemed “inadequate” according to a 2010 study from University of North Carolina Department of Nutrition Research Associate Kelly Adams and her colleagues, which was published in the journal ‘Academic Medicine.’
As of 2004, less than half of all U.S. medical schools required the 25-hour nutrition instruction amount recommended in 1985 by the National Academy of Sciences, according to a survey published by Adams‘ team in the U.S. National Library of Medicine (A fact I found in the book The 80/10/10 Diet.)
The number actually got worse as of 2009, as only 27 percent of the schools were able to meet the minimum standard of nutrition training.
This article from the Chicago Tribune also pointed out that doctors receive an average of just 19 hours of total nutrition education in medical school, a number was went down from Adams and her team’s 2004 study that found an average of 22.3 hours.
Both totals are less than the recommended amount in the 1985 NAS report.
And an April 2008 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition uncovered yet another piece of evidence demonstrating the lack of confidence many physicians have with their own knowledge of nutrition: a survey of 61 doctors in internal medicine (114 were given the survey in total but the rest did not respond) found that only 14% of them felt like they were adequately trained to provide nutrition counseling, despite the fact that 94% said that it was their obligation to discuss nutrition with their patients.
Anecdotally, many holistic health journalists have noted that the doctors they’ve interviewed have often told them that their amount of nutritional training in college is far too low.
Top Dietitians’ Association Also Has Serious Issues with Nutrition
Because mainstream doctors aren’t always able to provide the type of nuanced and well-researched nutrition information patients need, many of them turn to registered dietitians for help.
There’s at least one major problem with that approach, however: the largest organization of food and nutrition professionals in the world, which is highly influential in the United States especially, is sponsored by many of the worst junk food offenders in the entire world.
That’s right, folks. The former American Dietetic Association, now called the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, still lists the following companies as its corporate sponsors (see here): the National Dairy Council, something called the “Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness” which was created by Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Soyjoy, and Unilever.
The Dairy Council of course is a major supporter of pasteurized, hormone and antibiotic-laden milk from cows that consume an unnatural diet of GMOs; Soyjoy is a seller of what are almost certainly products made with GMO soy using toxic extraction processes; Kellogg’s is a major supporter of GMOs and a company that has been the target of widespread consumer boycotts; Coca Cola’s credentials in the world of nutrition are self-explanatory; Unilever produces tons of chemical and GMO-laced foods; and General Mills, well, their CEO Ken Powell recently lobbied to have GMOs classified as natural by the FDA. Another sponsor, Abbott Nutrition, also produces GMO-laden “nutritional products” such as Ensure that contain plenty of GMOs like soy protein and canola oil.
It’s remarkable that the Academy would even publish this list of sponsors considering that each one is the antithesis of proper (and non-toxic) nutrition and that many of them are perfect examples of the profit-over-health model that has doomed millions of Americans to sickness and disease. But there they are on its website, clear as day.
On the main page of the site, a small tab in the upper right corner reads, “Find a Registered Dietitian.”
But considering the influence that all of these sponsors have over the Academy, would you really trust them to prescribe the proper diet over an independent health coach for example that is not beholden to such corporate sponsors?
What Does the Future Hold for Medical Nutrition?
Simply put, the system cannot continue the way it is. People are not getting healthy in the United States, they’re just managing their symptoms with dangerous drugs that only exasperate their problems down the line and often lead to disaster. Unless they take matters into their own hands, that is.
I know in my personal experience as a child, my nutritional issues never seemed to get better. My doctor would often check my blood and find deficiencies, only to give me basic instructions to “eat more fruits and vegetables” and to take a multivitamin.
The type he prescribed? Flintstones vitamins, made from synthetic ingredients that are usually not very easily absorbed.
Lo and behold, each time I came back, I found that the vitamins did not solve my deficiencies or even come close to it.
As Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
Prevention and cures through nutritional therapies are definitely attainable, and there’s no reason why doctors can’t begin working them in more often.
At the same time, we can also use the emergency medical protocols of the West to create a system that is outstanding at healing both short and long-term. We’re closer than we think, but it starts with admitting we have a problem, and realizing that “authority figures” within our “healthcare system” are not the be-all, end-all when it comes to taking advice, especially since they continue to ignore the problems caused by GMOs and chemicals in our food.
It’s up to us to do the research and empower ourselves to make the right choices while the system naturally corrects itself from the imbalances it’s created over the past few decades.
We have the power, we just have to trust in it. In the meantime, feel free to choose an integrative, holistic physician for better nutritional assistance.
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