Introduction to Food and Health


Stanford School of Medicine



We find ourselves facing global epidemics of obesity and diabetes. To address these public health crises, we urgently need to explore innovative educational strategies for physicians and the general public. Physicians who eat a healthy, balanced diet and who understand what that entails, are more effective at counseling their patients to improve their health behaviors.

This CME activity provides a practical approach to supporting healthy eating for a variety of medical needs. Through the use of didactic videos, animated cases, and interactive activities course participants will gain proficiency in recommending well-established nutritional practices and assessing barriers to healthy eating for patients and physicians alike. By evaluating personal eating behaviors and barriers to healthy eating, physicians will emerge from the course better equipped to support sustainable positive change in their patients' food choices while simultaneously having an opportunity to embark on optimizing their own nutritional health.

Intended Audience

This course is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians in primary care, family practice, and internal medicine as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and allied health professionals involved in nutritional assessment and education of patients.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the fundamental principles of nutrition.
  • Conduct a motivational interview and nutritional assessment in a primary care setting using evidence-based techniques and tools.
  • Formulate a strategy based on a nutritional assessment to improve their health and their patients' health.
  • Guide patients and themselves through iterative, targeted goals to improve nutrition and health outcomes.
  • Provide patients with skills-based learning resources to support their achievement of targeted nutrition goals.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Test Your Knowledge
  3. Module 1. The Rationale for Physicians
  4. Module 2. Food & Health
  5. Module 2. Talking to Patients
  6. Module 4. Communicating with your Patient about Food
  7. Module 5. Following Up with Patients
  8. Course Wrap-Up
  9. Resources and References
  10. Help!




The following planners, speakers and authors have indicated that they have no relationships with industry to disclose relative to the content of this activity:

Maya Adam, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine
Course Director

Tim Dang, BA
Teaching Assistant, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Stanford University School of Medicine

Jennifer Dietz, MA
Director of Evaluation, Student Affairs
Stanford University School of Medicine

Michael Pollan, MA
James S. And John L. Knight Professor of Journalism
University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism

The following speaker indicated having relevant financial relationships with industry to disclose: 

David Eisenberg, MD
Adjunct Associate Professor of Nutrition, Dept. of Nutrition
T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
FareWell, Campus for Health (Japan), and CKK Health Products Group (China): Consulting

Technical Design and Development

Kim Walker, Ph.D.
IRT EdTech

William Bottini
IRT EdTech

Greg Bruhns
Stanford Online

Role Play Actors

Tracy A. Rydel, MD
Therese Truong, PA

Accreditation and Designation of Credits

The Stanford University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Stanford University School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits„¢. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The California Board of Registered Nursing recognizes that Continuing Medical Education (CME) is acceptable for meeting RN continuing education requirements as long as the course is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits„¢ ( Nurses will receive a Certificate of Participation following this activity that may be used for license renewal.

Commercial Support Acknowledgement

The Stanford University School of Medicine has received and has used undesignated program funding from Pfizer, Inc. to facilitate the development of innovative CME activities designed to enhance physician competence and performance and to implement advanced technology. A portion of this funding supports this activity.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency

California Assembly Bill 1195 requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. It is the intent of the bill, which went into effect July 1, 2006, to encourage physicians and surgeons, CME providers in the State of California and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to meet the cultural and linguistic concerns of a diverse patient population through appropriate professional development. The planners and speakers of this CME activity have been encouraged to address cultural issues relevant to their topic area. The Stanford University School of Medicine Multicultural Health Portal also contains many useful cultural and linguistic competency tools including culture guides, language access information and pertinent state and federal laws.

You are encouraged to visit the portal:

CME Privacy Policy

Contact Information

If you are having technical problems (video freezes or is unplayable, can't print your certificate, etc.) you can submit a Help Request to the OpenEdX Team. If you have questions related to CME credit, requirements (Pre-test, Post-test, Evaluation, Attestation) or course content, you can contact the CME Online support team at


Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2005;81(2):341-354.

Willett WC, Dietz WH, Colditz GA. Guidelines for healthy weight. N Engl J Med 1999; 341: 427-434

World Health Organization. "Global Database on Body Mass Index." WHO :: Global Database on Body Mass Index. 2006. Accessed January 29, 2016,

For a complete list, please view the References/Bibliography page in the Course.

©2016 Stanford University School of Medicine


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