Grijalva Introduces EAT for Health Act to Encourage Focus on Nutrition, Disease Prevention in Health Care System
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) re-introduced the Education and Training (EAT) for Health Act to encourage a stronger focus on nutrition and disease prevention in continuing medical education. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue guidelines that ensure federally employed physicians and nurses learn more about the role of nutrition in preventing cancer, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in their continuing education programs.
“Equally important to having the most effective medicines and advanced medical facilities in the world is having access to the best medical advice available when consulting a practitioner,” said Rep. Grijalva. “Good life choices can prevent diseases and injuries, ensure lower overall medical costs, and lead to longer, healthier lives. It all starts by making sure the right conversations take place in doctors’ offices, and I’m proud to say that this bill will help make that a reality.”
“Without nutrition education, health care professionals are unable to give their patients the most powerful prescription against chronic disease—a healthful diet,” said Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D. “Passage of the EAT for Health Act of 2015 is an important first step that I hope will one day lead to required nutrition education for all medical professionals.”
Physicians are already required to get a certain number of continuing medical education credit hours each year, this bill will help ensure that for federally employed providers, some of those hours are spent learning about nutrition. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition 94 percent of physicians feel nutrition counseling should be included during primary care visits, but only 14 percent felt adequately trained to provide such counseling. A comprehensive fact sheet is available here.