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Medical students learn nutrition through cooking

Hands Breaking EggUpstate is one of a few medical schools in the country that helps medical students learn about nutrition through a cooking class. American Medical News shines a spotlight this week on the cooking class offered at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Upstate's class takes place in late winter.

The classes teach future doctors that healthy foods can be prepared in tasty ways, and that preparation is fairly simple.

"When physicians are recommending a dietary change to a patient, often it is seen as something that is depriving. Rather than seeing it as a punishment, we want to get them excited and to see it as an opportunity," Barbara Olendzki RD, MPH, told American Medical News. She is an assistant professor at director of nutrition at UMass.

Robert Graham, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, started a class at his school after attending "Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives," a continuing medical education collaboration between the Harvard School of Public Health and The Culinary Institute of America, or CIA. He says cooking skills are important at a time when rates of heart disease and obesity are rising. "Many of us talk the talk when it comes to eating right, but we don't walk the walk," he told American Medical News.

Read the American Medical News story.