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Medical schools fall short on teaching students about obesity
Date:10/31/2012

on regarding obesity," Vitolins said. "Providing medical students with skills to address obesity is necessary to impact the national epidemic of obesity to decrease mortality and morbidity from chronic diseases related to excess weight.

"Our findings also highlight the need for medical school curricula to mitigate negative attitudes toward these patients, attitudes that may affect the care delivered."

In addition, the researchers did not find any study that included obesity education over all four years of medical school, including the basic science and clinical years. Although some medical schools require their students to teach prevention, including nutrition and weight management in community clinics, this approach still doesn't cover the full range of obesity counseling knowledge available.

"Utilizing multiple types of intervention approaches lectures, standardized patient encounters and hands-on training during multiple time points in the medical school curriculum is needed," Vitolins added. "Such training should be based on tried and true educational approaches and include education in bias and stereotyping, as well as specifically addressing obesity bias."

To help address the lack of obesity-related education in medical schools, the Wake Forest Baptist team has recently published a downloadable teaching and learning program for nutrition, exercise and weight management in MedEdPortal. According to Vitolins, the research team was committed to sharing their educational modules with others to improve nationwide efforts to reduce obesity.


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Contact: Marguerite Beck
marbeck@wakehealth.edu
336-716-2415
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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