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Why do AHP's know more about Pharma than Food?

askkate inspiration thegreatgaslights Mar 31, 2023

"You can't out run a bad diet!" Prof Tim Noakes

The medical industry has traditionally focused on pharmaceutical interventions to manage and treat health conditions. As a result, healthcare professionals, including those in allied health fields, have received extensive training and exposure to pharmaceuticals.  In this article we explore the lack of knowledge about nutrition and lifestyle education for overall health.

  • The Impact of Specialisation:

Healthcare professions, including physiotherapy, often encourage specialisation to meet specific patient needs effectively. However, this specialisation may inadvertently lead to a narrow focus on certain aspects of care, overlooking the significance of nutrition and lifestyle in promoting well-being. Incorporating a holistic approach into specialised practices can enhance patient care and outcomes.

  • The Role of Healthcare Culture:

Healthcare culture heavily influences the priorities of professionals. In settings where quick fixes and immediate relief are prioritised, pharmaceuticals may be seen as more appealing solutions. Integrating nutrition and lifestyle education requires a cultural shift, valuing preventive care and long-term health over short-term fixes.

  • The Challenge of Time Constraints:

Healthcare professionals often face time constraints when attending to patients. As a result, they may opt for quick solutions, such as prescribing medications, rather than delving into the complexities of nutrition and lifestyle changes. However, prioritising education on these aspects can lead to more sustainable health improvements in the long run.

  • Advocating for Change:

To bridge the gap between pharmaceutical knowledge and nutrition/lifestyle education, several steps can be taken:

  1. Curriculum Enhancement: Allied health education should include comprehensive modules on nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle management. This would enable professionals to provide evidence-based guidance to their patients.

  2. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Promote collaboration between healthcare professionals from various disciplines. Integrating nutritionists, dieticians, and lifestyle coaches into allied health teams can enrich patient care and encourage a holistic approach.

  3. Continuing Education: Encourage health professionals to engage in regular continuing education on nutrition and lifestyle advancements. Staying updated with the latest research will empower them to provide the best possible guidance to their patients.


As allied health professionals, it is crucial to recognise the importance of nutrition and lifestyle education in promoting overall well-being that can lead to more sustainable health outcomes for individuals and communities. By advocating for a cultural shift within healthcare, investing in education, and embracing interdisciplinary collaboration, you can better serve your community and improve the quality of life for their patients.  


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