Publications & Reports

Hungry for more: Australian medical students' competence, attitudes and preferences towards nutrition education.

Bredhauer J, Cone S, Brown L, Moseley G, Wilson A, Perlstein R, Ball L
School of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, 3800, Australia. [email protected]


BACKGROUND: Inadequate nutrition education in medical training is a prevailing global challenge. This study assessed Australian medical students' self-perceived competencies in nutrition and preferences regarding nutrition education in medical training. METHODS: We conducted a national cross-sectional online survey between September 2019 and January 2020. Our survey collected sociodemographic characteristics and assessed nutrition competency according to a validated assessment tool. All Australian medical students aged over 18 were eligible to participate. RESULTS: One hundred ninety-five medical students representing 20 Australian medical schools completed the survey and reported moderate nutrition knowledge (17.6 +/- 4.1 out of 35, 50%) and skills (29.8 +/- 7.6 out of 55, 54%). Students demonstrated positive attitudes towards nutrition training/education (35.9 +/- 4.0 out of 40, 90%). Most medical students (n = 148, 72%) reported they had sought some form of nutrition education outside of their degree. Students showed preference for practical, evidence-based nutrition education that is integrated in and prioritised throughout medical training. CONCLUSIONS: Australian medical students express positive attitudes towards nutrition but report only low to moderate nutrition knowledge and skills. There is an opportunity to incorporate practical, regular nutrition learning activities into Australian medical curriculums to equip future doctors to adequately address non-communicable disease. Such initiatives are likely to be well received by students.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: BMC Medical Education
  • Published: 27/09/2022
  • Volume: 22
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 692