Public Health

“What should I eat, Doc?” 4 nutrition CME courses help you answer


Food-related health discussions can frustrate patients and physicians. Patients want—or typically, need—sound guidance, but find it hard to follow. Physicians understand the need to offer it, but are left searching to find the most effective ways to make the message stick.

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The AMA Education Center offers a searchable library of more than 1,000 CME activities, including CME focused on nutrition and treating patients. All of these courses are online and most are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Nutrition Science for Health and Longevity: What Every Physician Needs to Know. This is self-paced, three-hour course was created by the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology. It consists of four modules:

  • “Why Does Nutrition Matter to your patents?”
  • “Dietary Fats and Patient Health”
  • “Helping Your Patients Understand Carbohydrates and Protein”
  • “Counseling Your Patients About Nutrition.”

The nonprofit Gaples Institute’s mission has a focus on “nutrition and lifestyle changes for prevention of heart disease.” AMA members receive a special discount.

Associations of Weight Gain From Early to Middle Adulthood With Major Health Outcomes Later in Life. This CME activity from the JAMA Network Learning is based on a JAMA article that analyzed the long-term outcomes experienced by cohorts of male and female health professionals.

The finding: “Weight gain during adulthood was associated with significantly increased risk of major chronic diseases and decreased odds of healthy aging. These findings may help counsel patients regarding the risks of weight gain,”according to the article.

CME from JN Learning is free for AMA members and can be purchased on an individual-activity or subscription basis by nonmembers.

AMA and FDA team up for two

These courses, which the AMA created in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration, speak to both to the physician role in food safety and informed guidance for the everyday decisions patients make about buying, understanding and handling the food they eat.

They are both free and consist of video and downloadable companion materials.

Talking to Patients about Using the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthful Eating Choices. This module, based on a 30-minute video, focuses on the nutrition facts label and guides physicians on how to discuss the information found there with patients. Topics covered include counseling patients on nutrition label basics such a serving size, servings per container, calories, nutrient percent of daily value.

The activity also addresses how patients can use the labels to seek out nutrients they should typically get more of—dietary fiber, calcium and iron—and to identify foods to have less of, such as sodium and saturated fat.

What Physicians Need to Know About Foodborne Illness. This course is centered around two video modules. The first, 25 minutes in length, is focused the need for physicians to “Suspect, Identify, Treat, and Report,” foodborne illness. The primary audience is primary care and emergency medicine physicians.

They are likely, early on, to encounter a possible food-related disease outbreak. The second, seven minutes long, is “Talking to Patients About Food Safety,” which includes advice on proper refrigeration avoid cross contamination from meat, poultry, seafood and eggs to vegetables and other uncooked food.

Other highlighted CME collections cover topics such as: