Nutrition is pretty basic.
You are what you eat and all that.
We put our faith in our physicians to mind everything when it comes to our health; it’s their job to take care of us.
But when it comes to something as fundamental as nutrition, medical schools in the United States don’t even teach it.
A survey of 114 U.S. Internal Medicine resident doctors (only 61 of them even bothered to respond, a return of 54 percent) revealed that 14 percent (9 doctors) felt they had been sufficiently trained to counsel their patients on nutrition even though almost all of them (94 percent) said it was part of their responsibility. If you can’t trust your doctor, whom can you trust?
Take Your Health Back in Your Hands.
One invaluable consequence of the internet and electronic availability is the ease and speed with which we can obtain information. While some may manipulate or censor, there is no way to squelch facts given the enormity of the information database. Scientific studies, alternative healthcare providers, blogs and fora, alternative health sites, and historical information are all available at the click of a mouse.
In 1985, the National Academy of Sciences published guidelines on how much training in nutrition medical students should receive: at least 25 hours was the recommendation. That seems preposterous, however, the vast majority of medical schools don’t even make that pitifully low benchmark. The average student received only 23.9 hours of nutrition education in the entire med school career, with only 40 of 141 accredited schools even instituting the minimum requirement set forth by the 1985 guidelines.
Our doctors work hard and deal with massive pressures and responsibility. They must be always diligent and mindful, caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable. They can fix broken bones and help us find what makes us unwell and devise plans to cure us. But they cannot be expected to be everything to everyone. When it comes to questions about what you eat, there are experts who are more suited to the task.
Enter the Dieticians.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is sponsored by the very companies that are producing the poisons labelled as food: Coca-Cola, Kellogg Company, General Mills, PepsiCo, and Unilever, among others.
The National Dairy Council is also a sponsor; a powerful force, they allow and promote feeding genetically-modified corn to cows and then foisting it on consumers as a natural product (not to mention disregarding the health of the cows).
There are people who really know human nutrition, who value the notion that what goes in is critical for what comes out in terms of health. Holistic physicians are a good resource. The principles of holistic and integrative medicine incorporate all aspects of the human being: body, mind, and spirit–which is what all physicians used to do.
When seeking professional help, look for the practitioner’s accreditation and pay attention with whom s/he is associated. You can always fact-check before embarking on any course of treatment (enter wonderful cyberspace). Trust yourself first–you can then trust others if their goals are in line with yours.