Impact of Culinary Medicine Course on Confidence and Competence in Diet and Lifestyle Counseling, Interprofessional Communication, and Health Behaviors and Advocacy

Nutrients. 2023 Sep 26;15(19):4157. doi: 10.3390/nu15194157.


Most physicians report inadequate training to provide diet and lifestyle counseling to patients despite its importance to chronic disease prevention and management. To fill the nutrition training gap, elective Culinary Medicine (CM) courses have emerged as an alternative to curriculum reform. We evaluated the impact of an interprofessional CM course for medical and health professional students who experienced the hands-on cooking component in person or a in mixed-mode format (in-person and via Zoom) at the University of Utah from 2019-2023 (n = 84). A factorial ANOVA assessed differences between educational environment and changes between pre- and post-course survey responses related to diet and lifestyle counseling, interprofessional communication, and health behaviors and advocacy. Qualitative comments from post-course surveys were analyzed on a thematic level. Students rated themselves as having greater confidence and competence in diet and lifestyle counseling (p < 0.05) and increased ability to prepare eight healthy meals (p < 0.05). Additionally, a Mann-Whitney two-sample rank-sum test was used to compare data from exit survey responses from medical students who took the CM course (n = 48) and did not take the CM course (n = 297). Medical students who took CM were significantly more likely to agree that they could counsel patients about nutrition (p < 0.05) and physical activity (p < 0.05). CM courses may improve students' confidence to provide diet and lifestyle counseling.

Keywords: culinary medicine; healthcare professional students; interprofessional education; lifestyle medicine counseling; medical training; nutrition care; nutrition counseling; nutrition education; teaching kitchen; team-based learning.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Curriculum
  • Diet
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Nutritional Sciences* / education

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.