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Nutrition Illiteracy and the U.S. Food Crisis

The crucial importance of organic and healthy food is still ignored by most doctors and policy makers, while government subsidies for chemical-intensive and GMO corporate agribusiness commodities and processed junk food continue. Smart phones, social media, and computer “screen time” dominate people’s lives. Children become addicted to sugar-laden, bad-fat, and hi-carb foods at an early age. Food served up in schools, institutional cafeterias, and most restaurants is atrocious. Sixty percent of American food consumption is highly processed, contaminated with pesticides, drugs, chemical additives, and antibiotic residues, devoid of nutrition, vitamins, and essential trace minerals. Medical illiteracy and malpractice exacerbate America’s food crisis.

As a consequence, public health has seriously degenerated with diet-related chronic disease and multiple comorbidities (obesity, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure) now becoming the norm in the U.S., ravaging both children and adults and setting up the most vulnerable for injury and death from lab engineered pathogens. 

Ronald Hoffman writes: 

“22% of polled physicians recall receiving no nutrition education in medical school. While the majority of physicians recollect receiving some nutrition education in medical school, 35% of those polled said that came in the form of a single lecture or a section of a single lecture. Unfortunately, the situation does not improve during medical residency. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed felt they received minimal or no education during their medical residency necessary for counseling patients on nutrition topics."

And, despite the urgent need, we’re lagging behind our international peers:

“Lack of nutrition education appears to be more prevalent in the Americas, where 58% of physicians had no memory of, or there was a notable absence of, nutrition education in medical school. In Asia and Europe, the absence of any education seemed like less of a problem: only 30% of polled physicians in those continents recalled no medical education on nutrition.”

And after graduation from medical school, things only get worse:

“Lack of nutrition education persists after completion of graduate medical education, where almost half of polled physicians had not received any nutrition continuing medical education. Moreover, physicians were unlikely to be readers or consumers of nutrition education through studies, books, or documentaries post-graduation. In fact, 67% of physicians read about nutrition less than once every 3 months.”

Learn More: A Plea for Nutrition in Medicine