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J Nutr. 2003 Feb;133(2):563S-6S.

Teaching nutrition skills to primary care practitioners.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Center for Primary Care and Prevention, Brown Medical School, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, RI 02860, USA.


Primary care physicians have the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality for many chronic diseases if they provide effective nutrition counseling. Given the time constraints of primary care practice, nutrition counseling needs to be brief, be part of an organized office system and refer appropriate patients to qualified nutrition professionals to be effective. This paper reviews a system of primary care nutrition counseling using the 5A's of patient-centered counseling, the elements necessary to develop an office-based system and some successful tools developed by nutrition researchers for the primary care setting to be used in an office-based system.

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