Medical schools should beef up curriculums to include robust nutrition education to give physicians the tools to combat diet-related conditions that cost the federal government billions of dollars each year to treat, according to House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern.
The Massachusetts Democrat predicted during an online news conference Wednesday that the House will overwhelmingly adopt a sense of the Congress resolution that calls on medical schools, graduate medical programs and health professional training programs to expand nutrition education.
McGovern equated the resolution to a legislative nudge and reminder to medical and health educators that Medicare and Medicaid are major federal funding sources for graduate medical education, including residency and fellowship programs. The two health care programs provide a combined estimated $14 billion a year in funding.
He warned that if there is no discernible change in curriculums, he will pursue stronger legislation to deliver “a kick in the ass.”
The resolution by McGovern and Rep. Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas, a physician and Rules Committee member, would set a goal of preparing physicians and other health professionals to consider food and good nutrition as ways to prevent or treat chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.