Take two cooking classes and call me in the morning

A growing number of doctors and medical groups are going beyond simply telling their patients to eat healthier—they’re teaching them how to cook.

Given that poor diet can lead to numerous health issues—such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even bed-wetting—doctors are starting to “prescribe” cooking as a fix. Some doctors’ offices now have teaching kitchens or food pantries as part of their practices. Others are prescribing that their patients attend culinary education programs.

In addition, some experts are focusing on providing better nutrition education for doctors so that they can use the information to help boost their patients’ health.

David Eisenberg, director of culinary nutrition and adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, helped start an annual conference called Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives that offers medical professionals nutrition education as well as cooking demonstrations and hands-on training. He also helped found the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, a group of 32 organizations with teaching kitchens, aimed at establishing and evaluating best practices relating to nutrition, culinary, and lifestyle education.

“I would love for teaching kitchens to become as commonplace as gyms, and for access to them to be part of our organized health system,” said Eisenberg in an August 9, 2017 New York Times article.

Read the New York Times article: When the Prescription is a Recipe

Learn more

Teaching nutrition in an era of obesity and diabetes (Harvard Chan School news)

More than cooking, Teaching Kitchens as learning labs for life skills (The Nutrition Source)

Crash course in healthy cooking aims to help docs better help their patients (Harvard Chan School feature)