Prevention: public health’s mission

Prevent: to keep from happening by some prior action, avert, thwart

Public: of, concerning or affecting the community or the people.

I mounted my public health pulpit yesterday, perhaps having a presentiment that prevention would be a topic on the NPR program, “Splendid Table.” Host Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s guest was a guy who calls himself ChefMD, internist John La Puma.

He was saying what those of us in public health have been saying for decades: what you eat has a profound effect on your health, but those in the medical (bandaid) profession don’t know anything about nutrition.

All I can say is, “well, duh!!!!”

The majority of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and many cancers are caused by what we are eating that we shouldn’t, or not eating that we should. And yet, according to Dr. La Puma, of the 116 US medical schools, 68 still don’t require any classes in nutrition.

Of those that do, only a teeny fraction of course hours are devoted to it – like 4 out of 3,000.

Most docs, when confronted with an overweight patient, hand them a brochure and maybe refer them to a dietitian. Wouldn’t it be great instead if pediatric and prenatal clinics offered nutrition and cooking classes BEFORE their patients got fat???

Is this not a no-brainer??

One response to “Prevention: public health’s mission

  1. Thanks for the shout-out.
    Yes, public health has been ahead of the game!
    What ChefMD tries to do is blend the art of cooking with the science of medicine…and make it high-flavor, high quality meals.
    We’re sending out tens of thousands of free, healthy, easy, quick recipes every week…join us!
    Warmly, and thanks,