How Medical Students' Behaviors and Attitudes affect the Impact of a Brief Curriculum on Nutrition Counseling

Sheira Schlair, Kathleen Hanley, Colleen Gillespie, Lindsey Disney, Adina Kalet, Pamella C. Darby, Erica Frank, Elsa Spencer, Jeff Harris, Melanie Jay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate a nutrition curriculum and explore the influence of medical students' own nutrition practices on its impact. Methods: An anonymous survey was given to first-year medical students attending a required course immediately prior to and 2 weeks after a 2-hour interactive nutrition curriculum intervention in a large private urban medical school in New York, New York. Main outcomes included self-reported nutrition counseling confidence, ability to assess diet, and nutrition knowledge measured using 4-point Likert scales. Results: One hundred eleven students completed surveys pre-curriculum (69%) and 121 completed them post-curriculum (75%). The authors found overall pre-post differences in dietary assessment ability (2.65 vs 3.05, P < .001) and counseling confidence (1.86 vs 2.22, P < .001). In addition to the curricular impact, students' nutrition-related behaviors and attitudes were positively associated with outcomes. Conclusions and Implications: A nutrition curriculum for medical students improves students' nutrition counseling-related confidence, knowledge, and skills even when controlling for personal nutrition-related behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-657
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Medical education
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Nutritional surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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