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September 26, 2017

Nutrition Counseling in Clinical Practice: How Clinicians Can Do Better

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
  • 3Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2017;318(12):1101-1102. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.10434

Despite overwhelming evidence that relatively small dietary changes can significantly improve health, clinicians seldom discuss nutrition with their patients. Poor nutritional intake and nutrition-related health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and many cancers, are highly prevalent in the United States,1 yet only 12% of office visits include counseling about diet.2 Even among high-risk patients with CVD, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia, only 1 in 5 receive nutrition counseling.2 It is likely that many patients receive most of their nutrition information from other, and often unreliable, sources.

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