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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2013;22(1):144-9. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.2013.22.1.13.

Nutrition education in Japanese medical schools: a follow-up survey.

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The Japanese Society of Clinical Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan.


A questionnaire survey was used to determine the status of nutrition education in Japanese medical schools in 2009. A similar survey was conducted in 2004, at which time nutritional education was determined to be inadequate in Japanese medical schools. The current questionnaire was sent to the directors of Centers for Medical Education of 80 medical schools, who represented all medical schools in Japan. Sixty-seven medical schools (83.8%) responded, of which 25 schools (37.3%) offered dedicated nutrition courses and 36 schools (53.7%) did not offer dedicated nutrition courses but offered something related to nutrition in other courses; six schools (9.0%) did not offer any nutrition education. Overall, 61 schools (91.0%) offered at least some nutritional topics in their undergraduate education. Nevertheless, only 11 schools (16.4%) seem to dedicate more than 5 hours to substantial nutrition education as judged by their syllabi. Although the mean length of the course was 11 hours, substantial nutrition education accounted for only 4.2 hours. Of the 25 medical schools that offered dedicated nutrition courses, seven schools offered the nutrition course as a stand-alone course and 18 schools offered it as an integrated course. In conclusion, the status of nutrition education in Japan has improved slightly but is still inadequate.

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