The current healthcare system in the US, and most of the rest of the world, focuses on treating disease with the latest evidence-based medication, surgery, or other invasive procedure. And yet so much of the chronic disease, and often the acute disease, in the world is caused by preventable factors such as poor diet and lack of physical activity. Doctors receive negligible education in nutrition and/or counseling; insurance companies do not adequately reimbursement for nutrition services and other forms of preventive medicine; and most hospitals do not choose to invest in food service and food prescriptions that provide true nourishment and healing to their patients. All of these factors get in the way of the healthcare profession’s prioritization on food to maintain and bring about health.
Yet, the lifestyle medicine field is gaining in popularity among professionals in the US. The field of dietetics is growing as job opportunities raise demand for dietitians in clinical and public health settings. And leaders in food service are implementing positive changes in leading hospitals around the country. Innovative pilot studies and other forms of research continue to seek to make the case for further progress in these areas.