Culinary skills and food-disease-related knowledge are enhanced by CM training3; however, there is much to learn regarding optimal program outcome measures.4
What cannot be gained from a CM program is the comprehensive nutrition knowledge that may be needed to ensure CM prescriptions result in benefits and minimize harm. This may be particularly important for older adults.
by physicians may be novel, promoting healthful dietary patterns through kitchen-based, hands-on food preparation classes is not. Extension professionals and, previously, home economists have promoted healthful diets by conducting food preparation and culinary classes for general health and wellness for more than a century.5
Similarly, community-based dietitians, as food and clinical nutrition experts, have skillfully led such classes with a focus on chronic disease management.6,7
Although the evidence for what constitutes a healthful diet has evolved, as has the evidence base for “food is medicine,” the education theory and practice have remained essentially unchanged. What is truly new is training non-nutrition experts – physicians prepped through CM programs. The premise of CM is individualized FOOD prescription, but in practice, will prescriptions be general and routine? Will most patients, young or old, be prescribed and educated to adopt a plant-based diet without the nuances needed to ensure nutrient intakes are not negatively affected?
Consider a physician prescribing a plant-based, whole-food diet to a patient at high risk of cardiovascular disease. The research evidence supports positive health outcomes for the dietary pattern, at least for those middle-aged
What Is Culinary Medicine and What Does It Do?.
Popul Health Manag. 2016; 19: 1-3
Culinary medicine basics and applications in medical education in the United States.
in: Black MM Delichatsios HK Story MT Nutrition Education: Strategies for Improving Nutrition and Healthy Eating in Individuals and Communities. Karger Publishers, 2020: 161-170
Culinary medicine as innovative nutrition education for medical students: a scoping review.
Academic Medicine. 2023; 98: 274-286
Implementing Culinary Medicine Training: Collaboratively Learning the Way Forward.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2020; 52: 742-746
Stir It Up: Home Economics in American Culture.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008
Participants’ perceptions of a group based program incorporating hands-on meal preparation and pedometer-based self-monitoring in type 2 diabetes.
PLoS One. 2014; 9e114620
Cooking schools improve nutrient intake patterns of people with type 2 diabetes.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012; 44: 319-325
Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Cardiometabolic Risk in People With or at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
JAMA Netw Open. 2023; 6e2325658
Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013; 14: 542-559