American College of Lifestyle Medicine Launches First Installment of its “Food as Medicine” Course to Fill Physician and Clinician Nutrition Knowledge Gap

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The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation identified in its 2019 Global Burden of Disease report that it is what our society is and is not eating that’s the single most important risk factor for morbidity and mortality in the U.S. Yet most physicians and other clinicians receive relatively few hours of nutrition education during their formal training. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine today announced the launch of the first installment of its new “Food as Medicine” course to fill this gap, providing three hours of CME- and CE- accredited content on the dietary patterns shown to prevent chronic disease and support longevity.

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"Since dietary choices have such a profound impact on health and chronic disease progression, all health care professionals should possess basic knowledge on utilizing food as medicine in patient care."

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), the medical professional society that has championed food as medicine since its inception in 2004, today announced the availability of the first installment of its “Food as Medicine” course, titled “Nutrition for Prevention and Longevity.” The entire CME- and CE-accredited course is designed to provide the training in dietary lifestyle that evidence shows most efficacious to prevent, treat and even reverse lifestyle-related chronic disease.

“The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation identified in its 2019 Global Burden of Disease report that the leading cause of disease and death is a result of what we are, and are not, eating,” said ACLM Executive Director Susan Benigas. “Yet most physicians and medical professionals receive few hours of clinical nutrition education throughout their formal training. ACLM is committed to filling this void, supporting healthcare providers in their ability to prescribe food as medicine, empowering patients to make the evidence-based dietary lifestyle changes needed to protect health and fight disease, with health restoration as the clinical outcome goal.”

The limited nutrition education customarily offered in medical and health professional programs is often didactic and focused on the biochemistry of nutrients and health consequences of deficiency states—content that is of limited use in a clinical setting where the majority of the population faces over-nutrition due to high intake of ultra-processed, calorie-dense, high saturated fat-laden foods.

ACLM’s “Food as Medicine” for medical professionals online course will educate and equip clinicians with knowledge of dietary patterns shown to prevent, treat, and reverse diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers as well as prepare them to implement food as medicine at a practical level in patient care. The course will also include nutrition considerations for various lifecycle stages and special populations, nutrition and scope of practice, and pharmaceutical implications in food as medicine practice.

Specifically, this first installment of the course will:

  • Review the current challenges in nutrition research and the challenges of disseminating accurate nutrition information to the public
  • Explain national and global nutrition recommendations and basic nutrition principles
  • Distinguish differences between health-promoting and health-harming foods
  • Describe the dietary pattern recommended by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine for disease prevention, treatment and reversal
  • Apply the concept of the dietary spectrum when making nutrition recommendations
  • Apply nutrition therapy scope of practice
  • Review the scientific evidence of popular diets

The course is targeted to a variety of clinicians with an interest in food as medicine: physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, other allied health professionals working with chronic disease prevention or treatment, certified health coaches and clinicians in training.

“Since dietary choices have such a profound impact on health and chronic disease progression, all health care professionals should possess basic knowledge on utilizing food as medicine in patient care,” said ACLM President Cate Collings, MD, MS, FACC, DipABLM. “ACLM is proud to continue its efforts to champion food as medicine as a key evidence-based therapy to prevent, treat and even reverse lifestyle-related chronic disease.”

To learn more or to register for the course, visit

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the nation’s medical professional society dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of lifestyle medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system. Lifestyle medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic intervention—including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection—as a primary modality, delivered by clinicians trained and certified in this specialty, to prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic disease.

More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanized force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective mission to promote lifestyle medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the root cause of disease. Learn more at

Rush University Medical Center designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This activity is being presented without bias and without commercial support.

ANCC Credit Designation – Nurses The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 3.0 contact hours.

Rush University is an approved provider for physical therapy (216.000272), occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, social work (159.001203), nutrition, speech-audiology, and psychology by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Rush University designates this enduring material for 3.0 Continuing Education credit(s).

Rush University Medical Center designates this knowledge-based CPE activity for 3.0 contact hours for pharmacists.

Rush University designates this internet enduring material for 3.0 CE credits in psychology.

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 3.0 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participation completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

The American Board of Lifestyle Medicine has approved 3.0 maintenance of certification credits for this learning activity.

Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.

The National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) has approved 3.0 continuing education credits for NBC-HWCs upon successful completion of the Food as Medicine: Nutrition for Prevention and Longevity course.

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