Students in the culinary medicine program

Friday October 20, 2017

Culinary Medicine

The University of Dayton and Grandview Medical Center have partnered to offer a culinary medicine program that teaches doctors healthy diet and cooking skills they can pass onto their patients.

The program brings together primary care residents from Grandview and undergraduate dietetics students from the University for hands-on training preparing nutritious meals in the University’s ProduceOne Food & Nutrition Laboratory.

“The goal is to help physicians understand the changes their patients are being asked to make when they have to adopt a new lifestyle to improve health outcomes,” said Jennifer Dalton, director of the University’s didactic program in dietetics. “This is the perfect partnership between the dietetic profession and medical profession to harness our strengths to benefit patient outcomes.”

Dr. Josephine Elrod, a family medical physician affiliated with Grandview Medical Center, said she saw the need for the program when she decided to focus her practice on rising health challenges, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“I quickly realized I wasn't comfortable dealing with food insecurities and lacked confidence in making food recommendations,” she said. “After doing research, I found out I wasn't alone. Physicians receive little nutrition education in medical school and even less in residency. To turn the tide, we need to become better educated and more confident addressing food and lifestyle issues.”

Elrod said culinary medicine uses food in addition to traditional medicine to treat and prevent disease. Each session of the program examines a case study related to a disease, such as hypertension, and diet choices that affect it. Sessions also address issues faced by patients that lead to poor food choices, such as having limited time, money and access to healthy food in Dayton’s food desert.

The culinary medicine program is funded by Grandview Hospital Foundation, and is modeled after Tulane University’s teaching kitchen, which was the first to be implemented at a medical school.

“We are excited to be the leaders in Ohio and the Midwest,” Elrod said.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.

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