Strategies to Fill the Gaps in Nutrition Education for Health Professionals through Continuing Medical Education

  • Emily JohnstonEmail author
  • Tony Mathews
  • Karen Aspry
  • Monica Aggarwal
  • Eugenia Gianos
Nutrition (P. Kris-Etherton and K. Petersen, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Nonstatin Drugs


Purpose of Review

Recent studies have documented that diet quality in the US is poor and linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD), other non-communicable diseases, and total mortality. As a result, nutrition counseling in clinical practice is an evidence-based strategy endorsed by numerous stakeholders. However, medical nutrition education (MNE) in the US has been inadequate, and physician knowledge, competencies, and practices related to diet counseling have been documented to be insufficient. National scientific meetings and conferences offer opportunities to translate new scientific evidence, guidelines, and competencies to clinicians in attendance and to publicize this evidence widely. This review assessed the adequacy of, and trends in, nutrition education provided at recent major US scientific meetings that offer continuing medical education (CME), with a focus on CVD-related conferences.

Recent Findings

The authors found no reviews that have assessed the scope and type of nutrition-related educational programming at major conferences. We therefore investigated nutrition-related programming at CVD-related CME conferences in the US from 2013 to 2018.


National scientific CVD-related conferences in the USA have offered variable amounts of programming related to practical applications of nutrition science. We did not observe an increase in nutrition-related offerings, despite the increase in diet-related diseases and the growing evidence base for the role of nutrition in the prevention and management of chronic disease. Increasing nutrition-related CME programming at national scientific meetings can lead to greater translation of nutrition evidence to patients by healthcare providers and improved health outcomes in the population.


Nutrition Continuing medical education (CME) Lifestyle counseling Cardiovascular disease prevention 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Emily Johnston, Tony Mathews, Karen Aspry, Monica Aggarwal, and Eugenia Gianos declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Johnston
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tony Mathews
    • 2
  • Karen Aspry
    • 3
  • Monica Aggarwal
    • 4
  • Eugenia Gianos
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesPenn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.NYU Langone HealthNYU School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Alpert Medical School, and Lifespan Cardiovascular InstituteBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Division of CardiologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyLenox Hill Hospital, Northwell HealthNew YorkUSA

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