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June 11, 1973

Modern Topics in Nutrition

JAMA. 1973;224(11):1521. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220250043014

Studies undertaken to evaluate what medical students and physicians know about nutrition reveal that both have a reasonable comprehension of the biochemistry of digestion, absorption, and metabolism but no real awareness of the food sources of nutrients. The translation of the science of nutrition into practical answers to a patient's questions is weak.

The medical profession is often criticized for not taking the leadership in helping to resolve individual and community nutritional problems. If the above-mentioned findings are correct, it is not difficult to understand why the profession is reluctant to become involved in such problems. Means must be found to communicate the necessary information to the physician and motivate him to utilize it in his practice.

The American Medical Association, with help from a number of other agencies interested in nutrition, recently organized a conference to explore general guidelines for improving the teaching of nutrition. Reacting to evidence that