Where’s the Full Prescribing Information for Food?

Really? “The doctor’s office is moving into the kitchen,” says the New York Times. So where can we find the full prescribing information? In a cheery feature, Donna De La Cruz describes physicians who have discovered that nutrition is an issue at the root of many problems they see.

The Dr. Yum Project

Pediatrician Nimali Fernando started the Dr. Yum Project in Spotsylvania, Virginia, because she saw a need:

I needed to do more than just give patients a pamphlet, I had to have a kitchen in my office. I try to give a lot of prescriptions that are just recipes to see if we can fix an issue with food.

Now parents are coming to her classes and learning to make bean burgers, drink almond milk, and grind flaxseed.

Dispensing Nutrition Science?

The enthusiasm for nutrition is great to see. But there’s a fuzzy line between pop nutrition and healthy diets. Prescribing almond milk might seem like a good idea if you pay attention to nutrition trends. If you look for evidence of health benefits, though, you will find only hypothetical benefits. Studies of health outcomes for drinking nut milks are lacking.

In the background, we are happy to find one real dietitian at the Dr. Yum Project. At least that’s a start for infusing good nutrition into popular nutrition advice.

Who knows where this will lead? Perhaps the medical industrial complex will indeed start blending evidence-based nutrition into the care it dispenses. As it does, perhaps people will start to look for full prescribing information. Just what do we know about this nutrition advice we’re dispensing?

Where does the evidence stop and the fluff begin? Ask a dietitian.

Click here for more from the New York Times and here for some perspective on supposedly healthy foods (from a dietitian, no less).

Veggies, photograph © Spiced Coffee / flickr

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August 15, 2017

3 Responses to “Where’s the Full Prescribing Information for Food?”

  1. August 16, 2017 at 3:13 am, Mary-Jo said:

    I read about a similar program not too long ago:

    For me, a registered dietitian, who has worked very hard at ‘translating’ the science of nutrition (which is a relatively new field — since the early 1900’s) into what people do re: food and eating– cooking, shopping, eating, coices, budgeting, eating out, helping parents feed their infants and children, dealing with cravings, emotional eating, food diaries, modified diets in disease — well, it’s complex and time-consuming. But, dietitians love this work! We are well-educated, knowledgeable, resourceful, and experienced. We can put in the time, effort, and plans in place to optimally address clients’ needs re: food and nutrition.

    So, although I am very excited to see that doctors are now placing value and importance on diet, food, nutrition, and health, I can’t imagine doctors having the time and resourcefullness to cover patients’ needs on these issues . This is what dietitians do and have been doing for years. I was very puzzled that the doctor is New Orleans didn’t even mention a dietitian.

    • August 16, 2017 at 3:47 am, Ted said:

      Amen, Mary-Jo.

  2. August 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm, Katherine Rivard said:

    Completely Agree.

    Please respect others who have professions.

    Simply setting an example by managing your weight and health as a doctor would be a great step for many under current stress levels.