Can culinary medicine be taught virtually to medical students?
Carlo Sosa, MD, was always interested in cooking and the profound impact food choices have on health. So as a medical student in 2020 he eagerly enrolled in the new culinary medicine elective offered by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
Lifestyle behavior, such as a poor diet, causes 80 percent of chronic disease but the majority of medical school students receive little, if any, education in nutrition. Dr. Sosa believed that building a strong base of knowledge in culinary medicine would make him a more effective doctor and prepare him to assist patients in achieving whole health.
Not only did the course, adapted into a virtual format from the Culinary Medicine Curriculum offered for free by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), teach him strategies to help patients prepare affordable, healthy and tasty meals, but it also opened his eyes to challenges future patients may face in improving their diets.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, we are reminded of how lifestyle-related chronic diseases disproportionately affect historically under-resourced communities.
Dr. Qadira Huff grew up in a medically under-resourced neighborhood known as “East of the River” in Washington D.C. Today the pediatrician is using lifestyle medicine to help families there break cycles of chronic disease.
This brief will 1) evaluate the promise of, and need for, health equity; 2) explain what lifestyle medicine is and why it is high- value care; 3) share how provider organizations can deliver lifestyle medicine both through their own processes and through community partnerships; and 4) present some of the challenges to widespread adoption of lifestyle medicine and how those challenges can be addressed.