Nutrition education in European medical schools: results of an international survey

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;68(7):844-6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.75. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Consumers and patients are unsure of whom to trust for nutritional advice. Although medical doctors are seen as experts in nutrition and their advice is regularly followed, data are lacking on the amount of nutrition education in European medical school curricula. In line with US research, we distributed a survey on required and/or optional nutrition contact hours to medical education directors of all accredited medical schools (N=217) in Western European Union countries (N=14). In total, respondents from 32 medical schools (14.7%) from 10 countries indicated that nutrition education, in some form, was required in 68.8% of schools where, on average, 23.68 h of required nutrition education was provided. The results from this small-scale survey are comparable to a 2010 US study; conversely, European educators were satisfied with the amount of nutrition education. We substantiate the increasing concern over the inadequate amounts of nutrition education provided to medical students in Europe.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum*
  • Data Collection
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Schools, Medical*