Nutrition contributes to many of the leading causes of death in the United States, yet less than one-third of dental students feel competent to discuss the relationship of nutrition and systemic disease with their patients. The American Dental Association policy statements acknowledge a need for health professionals and organizations to provide continuing education to professionals and counseling to patients to combat the growing problems of overweight and obesity. Dentists can play a major role in educating patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle, including nutrition and physical activity recommendations. An understanding of the complexity of behavior change may enhance the dentist's ability to assist their patients in making desired changes.
Published by Elsevier Inc.