The greatest contributor to deaths worldwide is suboptimal diet, according to a recent analysis of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2013. There is growing recognition that solving the obesity epidemic and its downstream health consequences depends on preventative efforts at the individual, community, and public health level. Physicians are part of the frontline of advising patients on nutrition; however, health care professionals report feeling ill-prepared to counsel patients on nutrition, and patients often lack the basic skills and confidence in making changes to their and their families’ diet.
Significant gaps in nutrition content exist across the medical education continuum, from new learners to practicing physicians. An emerging approach to enhance mastery of practical nutrition content is that of culinary medicine provided in the context of a teaching kitchen. Preliminary research suggests culinary medicine is an innovative active learning approach that may be an effective pedagogical option that is gaining traction in academic health institutions.
At this month’s Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds, Dr. Melinda Ring, Executive Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University, discussed her experience with culinary medicine education for health professionals.
- Cooking Up Health Website
- Cooking Up Health: A Novel Culinary Medicine and Service Learning Elective for Health Professional Students – The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
- Healthy Eating Starts with Cooking for Life – Thrive Global
- Could Culinary Medicine Bridge the Gap in Nutrition Education for Physicians and Patients? – Common Threads
- 2018 Award Winner: Cooking Up Health: Docs & Kids in the Kitchen – Osher Collaborative
Presenter: Melinda Ring, MD, FACP, ABOIM
Melinda Ring, MD, FACP, ABOIM serves as the Executive Director of the Osher Center of Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University. While earning her medical degree and completing her internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago, Dr. Ring’s passion for complementary and integrative medicine evolved along with her holistic philosophy of needing to treat the whole person to achieve true health and healing.
Following residency, she completed a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona with Dr. Andrew Weil. In her role at Northwestern, she maintains an active integrative medicine consult practice, oversees the medical trainee integrative medicine and culinary medicine education, and conducts research. Her expertise is reflected in her contribution to academic textbooks, lectures and research articles and her first consumer book on integrative women’s health, The Natural Menopause Solution. She is also active on several national policy committees, including the board of the integrative medicine credentialing exam.
Her interests include women’s health, food as medicine, dietary supplements, mindfulness and the healing power of nature. She is passionate about raising awareness of the power of integrative medicine to heal ourselves and our healthcare system.