Culinary Medicine (CM) is defined as “a new evidence-based field in medicine that blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine”. Obesity and unhealthy nutrition are major public health and economic threats and disproportionately high among adults with chronic diseases. Recent research demonstrated positive correlations between frequency of home cooking and consumption of healthy food choices, weight status, and body fat. However, a survey from 2007-2008 evaluating trends in US home food preparation found a decrease in cooking activities. Thus, experts are suggesting that nutritional education should augment a primary focus on nutrients with food-oriented education, emphasizing skills such as shopping, food storage, meal planning and preparation.
Culinary education is emerging in medical education too. The majority of the nutritional content currently taught in medical education is related to biochemistry, not practical, food-related knowledge and skills that may positively impact eating behaviors. This gap manifests in the attitudes of residents, fellows and other practicing clinicians who lack confidence and knowledge to effectively prescribe nutrition. CM programs are an effective way to bridge this gap, by addressing food-based knowledge and skills. Preliminary results from such programs have documented improvement in both the providers’ personal and professional nutrition related behaviors, including their perceived ability to advise patients with metabolic risk factors.
- Participants will be able to define the relationship between home cooking and health; and understand the rationale for the importance of patients’ culinary behaviors.
- Participants will be able to discuss common barriers to home cooking, and explore alternative cooking skills to help address those barriers.
- Participants will be able to develop basic culinary confidence and skills, and learn strategies to facilitate cooking for improved personal health.