jamie sat in a doctors office

Jamie speaks to trainee doctors who say they don’t get enough nutrition education as part of their studies.

If you saw the show and want to get involved, tweet UK under-Secretary of State for Public Health Steve Brine: “
@SteveBrine, future doctors should know about nutrition! We need more nutrition education in their curriculum #nutrition4medics”

We celebrated a special birthday this year, as the NHS turned 70! Since it launched, UK life expectancy has soared from 68 to 81 years, and infant mortality rates are at an all-time low. The NHS now treats one million of us every 36 hours and employs around 1.5 million staff.  

But our GPs treat us for different conditions compared to 70 years ago. For example, obesity is now the second biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, and it it looks set to overtake it. Around a quarter of admissions to English hospitals in 2016-17 were related to people with obesity.

How can the NHS adapt to modern conditions?

In Friday Night Feast, the boys hear from medical students in Bristol who say they need more nutrition training, in order to be able to identify the role of diet in some diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and give patients access to the right support for them.

They feel they’re not receiving enough education to handle the amount, and the nature of diet-related cases that come into a GP’s surgery.

What training is currently given?

Nutrition training varies significantly between medical schools but these students in Bristol have around eight hours of nutrition education across a five- or six-year degree. This leaves them feeling ill-equipped to respond to patient needs.

In response, the students Jamie and Jimmy spoke to have created Nutritank, an online platform providing medical students, doctors and the public with simple nutrition info.

Why does it matter?

Doctors aren’t registered nutritionists or dieticians (who have years of specialist knowledge) and they shouldn’t have to be.

But, as staff on the front-line with access to thousands of patients a year,  doctors believe they should be equipped to identify the role of a nutritious diet in many cases, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and nutrient deficiencies, to refer them on in the best way.

What needs to happen?

In Friday Night Feast, the boys hear from Public Health Minister Steve Brine who says that “if the medical students are saying they don’t feel prepared enough, it’s up to them to make that case… we in Government are certainly listening”.  So if you care about this issue, we need to tell them

Whether you’re a medical student and you want more nutrition education, or you’re just someone who thinks future doctors should know more about diet-related disease, we want to hear from you.

Read more about Jamie’s campaigns on Friday Night Feast, here.