Proper nutrition plays a key role in disease prevention and treatment. Many patients understand this link and look to physicians for guidance diet and physical activity. Actual physician practice, however, is often inadequate in addressing the nutrition aspects of diseases such as cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Physicians do not feel comfortable, confident, or adequately prepared to provide counselling, which may be related to suboptimal knowledge of basic nutrition science facts and understanding of potential nutrition interventions.
“We do not have nutrition as part of our curriculum. It is supposed to be a dietician’s job. We are mainly taught to treat symptoms and reduce them as of now,” said Prashant Kotak, an MBBS student from Ahmedabad, India. This applies to a majority of all the medical schools in India. According to a survey conducted by medical students in Ahmedabad, a majority of the people in the city believed that relying on physicians for nutrition counselling is not an optimal choice.
“I have been a doctor all my life. I have been exposed to pharmaceutical drugs for a long time. It seemed very easy to just take them and feel the relief. But it never gets rid of the problem,” said Dr. Mehta, a gynaecologist from Ahmedabad.
Dr. Michael Greger, an M.D. and an author of the book, ‘How Not to Die’ has emphasised the importance of nutrition in his book saying, not eating right food is like hitting your leg three times a day with a log and injuring it, and taking painkillers to stop the pain while continuing the practice everyday.
Pharmacy is a boon in the world of medicine as it has increased the life expectancy of a man by several years. However, overuse of it has caused many to catch various diseases and face unnatural deaths. The government and corporates combined efforts to inculcate nutrition in medical studies can not only prevent many of these diseases but also improve the overall health and nutrition scenario of the country.