Integrating nutrition education into the cardiovascular curriculum changes eating habits of second-year medical students

Eric J. Vargas, Robert Zelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Survey of medical curricula continues to show that nutrition education is not universally adequate. One measure of nutritional educational competence is a positive change in student eating habits. Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate whether integrating nutrition education within the second-year cardiovascular course for medical students, using the "Rate Your Plate" (RYP) questionnaire, coupled with knowledge of student personal 30-year risk of a cardiovascular event was useful in changing students' eating behaviors. Methods Thirty-two students completed an unpublished 24-item questionnaire (modified-RYP) about their eating habits in the spring of their first year. The same students then completed the questionnaire in the spring of their second year. Paired t test was used to analyze the difference in RYP scores. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated for the Framingham 30-year cardiovascular event risk and change in RYP score to examine whether risk knowledge may have changed eating habits. Results Mean scores at baseline and 1 year later were 57.19 and 58.97, respectively (paired t test, P <.01). Correlation coefficient between 30-year relative risk, adjusted for family history, and change in RYP score was -0.322. Conclusion Although medical students were eating healthy at baseline, integration of nutrition education within the second-year cardiovascular medical curriculum was associated with improved heart healthy eating habits. Because student attitudes about prevention counseling are influenced by personal eating habits, this suggests that students with a more healthy diet will be more likely to recommend the same for their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-205
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Feeding Behavior
Medical Students
Curriculum
Students
Education
Mental Competency
Counseling
Surveys and Questionnaires
Healthy Diet

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

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abstract = "Background Survey of medical curricula continues to show that nutrition education is not universally adequate. One measure of nutritional educational competence is a positive change in student eating habits. Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate whether integrating nutrition education within the second-year cardiovascular course for medical students, using the {"}Rate Your Plate{"} (RYP) questionnaire, coupled with knowledge of student personal 30-year risk of a cardiovascular event was useful in changing students' eating behaviors. Methods Thirty-two students completed an unpublished 24-item questionnaire (modified-RYP) about their eating habits in the spring of their first year. The same students then completed the questionnaire in the spring of their second year. Paired t test was used to analyze the difference in RYP scores. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated for the Framingham 30-year cardiovascular event risk and change in RYP score to examine whether risk knowledge may have changed eating habits. Results Mean scores at baseline and 1 year later were 57.19 and 58.97, respectively (paired t test, P <.01). Correlation coefficient between 30-year relative risk, adjusted for family history, and change in RYP score was -0.322. Conclusion Although medical students were eating healthy at baseline, integration of nutrition education within the second-year cardiovascular medical curriculum was associated with improved heart healthy eating habits. Because student attitudes about prevention counseling are influenced by personal eating habits, this suggests that students with a more healthy diet will be more likely to recommend the same for their patients.",
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Integrating nutrition education into the cardiovascular curriculum changes eating habits of second-year medical students. / Vargas, Eric J.; Zelis, Robert.

In: Journal of Clinical Lipidology, Vol. 8, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 199-205.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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