Healthy diet in primary care: views of general practitioners and nurses from Europe

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;59 Suppl 1:S77-80. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602177.


Background: Most of the national colleges of general practitioners (GPs) do not have their own dietary/nutritional tools, and GPs and nurses do not have the time, knowledge, or skills to advise their patients about desirable dietary practices.

Objective: To assess the usefulness of a simple and practical guide on healthy diet to be used by European GPs and nurses.

Design: A postal survey was mailed to 171 GPs and nurses from 12 European countries to obtain information about the usefulness of a guide on healthy diet developed by EUROPREV.

Results: The perception of health professionals is that the main source of information on healthy diet for the population was the media. In all, 95% of GPs and nurses reported that the guide was useful; 93, 95, and 82% reported that the concepts were concise, easy to understand, and realistic, respectively. Also, 77% reported that the type of counselling recommended was feasible and could be applied, 94% reported that the implementation measures proposed could be effective and 88% reported that the Traditional Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is useful, but some concerns about the content were mentioned.

Conclusions: GPs and nurses from Europe think that a practical guide on healthy diet developed by EUROPREV could be used to advise patients in primary care, although the Traditional Mediterranean Diet Pyramid should be modified.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Diet / standards*
  • Education, Nursing
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physicians, Family / education
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Postal Service
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires