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Thank God For Medical Doctors
If I had a stroke, broken bone, or bullet stuck in my head, there’s no place that I’d rather be in than a Western-style hospital with an amazing medical doctor tending to me.
With the responsiveness, technology and training that our doctors have, they are the best in the world for insuring an acutely injured person’s recovery.
For nutritional advice, though? I’d rather find someone with actual training.
With the advent of the internet, and information becoming readily available at the click of a fingertip, people are learning new information at a speed never before known.
In the process, many people are discovering that much of what they’ve learned about nutrition is wrong.
And during the course of these discoveries, one of the common questions they ask is “why didn’t my doctor tell me this?”.
It’s important to note here that the underlying assumption to this question is that their doctor actually has knowledge concerning nutrition. After all, that’s why doctors go to medical school, isn’t it?
This Assumption, Unfortunately, Is By Far And Large, Quite Wrong….
With heavy regulation, long, intense hours of schooling, and subjects of frequent warnings to “Always check with your medical doctor before doing XXXX activity”, doctors have come to be seen as the final authority on health.
Yet, despite the pedestal many people put them on, most doctors have had a poor (practically non-existent) education in nutrition, and how it relates to the human body.
In 2006, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported findings based on a survey of 126 US medical schools (86 responded), one of the most comprehensive surveys of its kind. The shocking results were this: 17 of the schools who responded reported 10 hours or less of nutrition education during the 4 years at medical school, while half of the schools reported 20 or hours or less.
10-20 hours-less time than it takes to drive halfway across the US.
Do you really want to trust your health to someone who could’ve received their training on a road trip?
The researchers went on to report that the average student in med school obtained “23.9 contact hours of nutrition instruction during medical school”, and summed it up by stating “The amount of nutrition education in medical schools remains inadequate”.
Internal medicine physician Solmoz Amirnazmi, M.D. sums up the dilemma by stating “We as physicians do not receive adequate training in nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, and disease prevention in general while in medical school or in residency”.
What Do Doctors Study In Their Schooling?
Doctors learn skills that make them amazingly proficient and effective in the field of crisis care, where the United States is ranked among the top few countries in the world for. In an acute catastrophe, there’s no one else you’d want on your side. Most of us know people that have been in an acute situation, and would agree that doctors are close to being miracle workers.
On the other hand, being able to resuscitate a stopped heart or stop an acute brain hemorrhage has nothing to do with advice for a patient’s next grocery trip.
So, What Do Doctors Know About Nutrition?
Simple-about the same amount as your local hair stylist or auto mechanic knows-a few fallacies, and not much more.
The same fallacies that have brought us things like the lobbyist-influenced food pyramid (now called ChooseMyPlate.gov, and hardly any healthier), dangerous chemicals like margarine, (and other cheap hydrogenated oils), ridiculous concepts such as the war on saturated fat, the idea that wheat and soy are somehow a wholesome foods, and of course, the low-fat diet.
Despite being so engrained in our public consciousness, there is an unbelievable amount of research that goes directly against these commonly-held beliefs. Beliefs we’ve still been clinging to despite the fact that our obesity rates, diabetes rates, and lifetyle-related illnesses are ravaging our nation.
Where Should We Look Instead For Sound Nutrition Information?
That’s a challenging question.
Although chiropractic physicians, naturopathic physicians, and nutritionists receive far more formal nutritional training than our medical doctor counterparts, much of what we’re exposed to is based on the same lobbying-influenced bias that MD’s (in their limited nutritional education) are taught.
Furthermore, if you see a USDA food pyramid (or MyPlate) recommendation associated with anyone giving nutritional advice, I’d find someone else.
Instead, I recommend that you find sources who advocate eating real food, avoiding sugars, questioning the mainstream, and keeping up on the most current research available. Within the minority, there are indeed some medical physicians such as neurologist David Perlmutter, M.D., cardiologist William Davis, M.D., and Joseph Mercola, D.O., who do adhere to the above-mentioned qualities.
In addition, (please excuse the blatant self-promotion), I work diligently to present nutrition (particularly for weight-loss) based on what research actually shows.
Finally, other people like author, lecturer, and researcher Mark Sisson, nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich, nutritionist and writer Franziska Spritzler, and authors, lecturers, and researchers Jimmy Moore, Christine Cronau, and many others are doing amazing things for the world of nutrition, and for the people they serve.
Finally, if you find research that any of the above mentioned won’t address, I’d drop them and continue looking other places.
Ultimately, Who Is Responsible Your Nutritional Choices?
With diet-related catastrophes like obesity, heart disease and diabetes at epidemic levels, it is so important to get proper nutritional information if someone wants to live a healthy life.
And like it or not, a person is with themself 24 hours out of the day. Even the above-mentioned experts can’t observe every one of their choices. It’s up to the individual to make decisions based on the material they learn, and implement it, if they want to live a healthy life.
Labor-intensive? Yes. But with the unprecedented amount of information at finger-tip distance, it’s never been easier to get it.
Times are changing. People have more access to information than they have in the history of human kind.
They’re questioning conventional wisdom, and many making choices for themselves. It can be a little overwhelming and seemingly frightening…
But at the same time, amazingly beautiful.
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