To get 1 patient to quit smoking doctors need to advise between 50- 120 patients. However, to get 1 person to meet recommended activity guidelines doctors need to advise only 12 patients!’
Nutritank doesn't believe doctors should be at the same level of knowledge as dieticians and nutritionists. But they should have a level of understanding which allows them to advise patients on simple nutrition and lifestyle measures in looking after their health and wellbeing and then refer on APPROPRIATELY to nutritionists and dieticians.
Motivational interviewing is at the heart of this. It is paramount to meet the patient in the middle and relate the information to their current routine. Common examples of this in clinical practice is for doctors to advise: - food substitutions and beneficial add-ons to increase the nutritional density of meals, e.g. can you add lentils into dish to make it more nutritionally dense? Can you get some extra steps in during your morning commute? e.g. getting off the tube one stop earlier. Can you find 5-10 minutes of relaxation a day such as; a walk through a park, engaging with green space or doing a mindfulness practice. Can you try and have a tech curfew and not look at a screen past a certain time?
Previous efforts to roll out a new nutritional education curriculum have been curtailed by the fact that it was not made obligatory by the GMC for medical schools to introduce it into their independent curricula. That means it was not disseminated and applied to education practice. Obtaining voluntary buy-in from decision makers on an individual level is therefore paramount.
Despite sensationalist media headlines which have led to pubic confusion and misconception around nutritional science, we have found that, there is in fact a general consensus surrounding which food is most beneficial to health. We don’t know everything about nutrition, and much is still being discovered, for instance the new studies around gut health and the microbiome. However, there is enough scientific fact around food, to benefit patient care, that the time for action and innovation is now.
Whilst nutrition falls under the umbrella of Lifestyle medicine, we believe that Nutrition is its own entity and should be prioritised as the first call to action. Firstly, it has the most misinformation and tension surrounding it. Secondly because the subject of the science, being food, intersects with just about every aspect of society, from cultural beliefs to socioeconomic status. It’s complex and multi-faceted. However, we would rather do something, rather than nothing. Therefore, we are starting with education and we want to empower as many individuals to initiate the conversation around nutrition and lifestyle medicine.