GP’s Want Better Dietary Information

March 29, 2010


It’s not often the words doctor and diet information are found together, and if I am honest I would have preferred doctors and nutrition as the phrase, but I quibble. New research has revealed that doctors are having to deal with more and more cases of the four biggest health risks that can cut your life short, and they are related to, and helped by, diet and nutrition. A very healthy two thirds of the doctors polled want to have information on diet so they can give better advice.

They are on the right track as a new study led by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) estimates that smoking, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and overweight and obesity currently can seriously reduce life expectancy. Men lose 4.9 years in men and 4.1 years in women. It is the first study to look at the effects of those four preventable risk factors on life expectancy in the whole nation.

I have always wondered why it isn’t part of their training, but better late than never say I and it seems that three in five of the doctors polled regularly go online to access that information. I was surprised that more than half (52 per cent) of doctors surveyed regularly prescribe supplements with two in five (41 per cent) prescribing a few times a month and one in ten (10 per cent) weekly. If your doctor isn’t doing so, then ask him/her why they are in the minority.

You would think they would be bombarded by information from nutrition companies but it seems they are missing a trick as GPs are being left out of the loop when it comes to communications around nutritional information.

You may think you are alone in looking up your symptoms on the Internet, but apparently the same survey found that 97 per cent of doctors are accessing it for professional purposes so you can swop web addresses with them!


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