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The Role of Nutrition in Integrative Preventive Medicine 

The Role of Nutrition in Integrative Preventive Medicine
The Role of Nutrition in Integrative Preventive Medicine

Walter C. Willett

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date: 23 January 2020

Until recently, and still today in low-income countries, undernutrition during pregnancy and early childhood was a major cause of mortality. However, in recent decades, noncommunicable diseases account for the majority of premature deaths both in the United States and globally. Although dietary factors have been identified as the most important causes of this, physicians and other healthcare providers are taught little about nutrition in medical school or fellowship training. In conventional medical practice almost no attention is given to knowing what a patient is eating or providing dietary guidance that has the potential to improve dramatically their long-term health. This chapter describes what we know about the elements of a healthy diet and how these elements can be combined into an overall dietary pattern for the prevention of major illness and promotion of well-being. A brief section considers ways that this knowledge can be integrated into preventive healthcare.

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