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If Food Is Medicine, Why Isn’t It Taught at Medical Schools?

Students in medical schools across the country spend less than 1 percent of lecture time learning about diet.

Earlier this year, Mount Sinai, the biggest hospital network in New York City, invested in a meal delivery service. Though it seemed like an unusual move at the time, the network’s decision makes sense if you consider the intrinsic relationship between food and health—a connection underscored by countless other recent examples of healthcare initiatives that harness diet as a tool to improve well-being.

At a California rehabilitation facility, for instance, doctors use the rituals of eating to help people recover from trauma. And over the past decade, cities across the country have launched “food prescription” programs that incentivize participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. A number of nonprofit organizations have launched medically-tailored meal services for people suffering from diet-related diseases.

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