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Teaching medical students about nutrition: from basic principles to practical strategies
  1. Glenys Jones1,
  2. Angela M Craigie2,
  3. Suzanne M M Zaremba2,
  4. Ally Jaffee3,
  5. Duane D Mellor4,5
  1. 1 Association for Nutrition, London, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee School of Medicine, Dundee, UK
  3. 3 Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, UK
  4. 4 Aston Medical School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  5. 5 Centre for Health and Society, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Glenys Jones, Association for Nutrition, London WC1V 6AZ, UK; g.jones{at}


Poor nutrition is widely recognised as one of the key modifiable risks to health and life, with doctors in an ideal position to recognise when suboptimal nutrition is impacting on their patients’ health and provide them with advice and support to create sustainable and achievable diet and lifestyle modifications. However, it has been acknowledged that nutrition training within medical schools is extremely varied, and in many cases inadequate. The Association for Nutrition UK Undergraduate Curriculum in Nutrition for Medical Doctors provides medical schools with guidance on what should be included in the training of all medical students. This paper discusses three key ways in which medical schools can support the implementation of nutrition into their teaching; incorporating nutrition within the core medical curriculum teaching, the use of subject specific experts to support and deliver nutrition training, and the inclusion of nutrition within formal assessment so as to reinforce and cement learnings into practical, applicable actions and advice.


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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The provenance and peer review statement has been updated.

  • Contributors GJ conceived the format of the article, brought together the authors to produce the manuscript and acts as overall guarantor for the article. GJ, AMC, SMMZ, AJ and DDM made substantial contributions to the design of the whole article, research review and implementation examples (ICMJE criteria 1). GJ, AMC, SMMZ, AJ and DDM all contributed to the drafting and review of the article for its important intellectual content (ICMJE criteria 2). GJ, AMC, SMMZ, AJ and DDM all approved the manuscript submitted for publication and the revisions made following receipt of reviewers comments (ICMJE criteria 3). GJ, AMC, SMMZ, AJ and DDM all agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring any questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved (ICMJE criteria 4).

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The authors are all members of the AfN Interprofessional Group on Medical Nutrition Education and were involved in the development of the AfN undergraduate nutrition curriculum for medical doctors. AJ is cofounder of Nutritank, an advocacy group campaigning for nutrition education within medical student training.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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