Culinary Medicine and the Mediterranean Diet Checklist as a Food Rx for Health Improvement
A poster presentation by Maria Leilani Relucio, BSN ‘92, RN, MD, CPHQ, CCMS, Pearl Jubilarian, during the 43rd UPNAAI Convention, August 5-6, 2022 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida
The Culinary Medicine program has made several advancements in recent years, and teaching kitchens have flourished to address the global epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
The Mediterranean Diet checklist is a commonly used practical tool in food literacy. By teaching people what to eat rather than what foods to avoid, educators become positive advocates for health change. Such advocacy becomes more pressing in migrant and ethnic populations that experience health disparities. Evidence has shown the impact of food illiteracy on health outcomes in these populations.
Bridging gaps in skills, knowledge, and attitude in food literacy using creative ways like social media, webinars, virtual cooking sessions, and the food journey process are tools that may spark innovations for sustainable health outcomes.
After the poster presentation, the participants will be able to:
define Culinary Medicine
enumerate two ways that they can improve their health scores using the Mediterranean Diet checklist with the goal of lowering their overall risk for mortality from chronic diseases.
A disproportionate number of Filipino nurses succumbed to COVID-19 and its complications in 2020.
working in areas with significant exposure (ER, ICU, and long-term care facilities);
multi-generational living conditions;
behavioral factors that compel our nurses to accept the worse work assignment condition; and lastly and most importantly;
the inherent health disparity of being overweight and having obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiorespiratory diseases as well as the wrong assumption that Asian Americans are healthy, wealthy, and educated, and thus, don't need attention.
Studies reveal a high prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases among Asians at a lower BMI cut-off (23 kg/m2) than the Western cut-off of 25 kg/m2. The Joslin Diabetes Center cited that 32% of Asian Americans have pre-diabetes due to genetic and environmental influences, indicating a need for focused care for this rapidly growing population in the U.S.
Source: Joslin Diabetes, Asian American Diabetes Initiative, accessed Oct. 2021.
Suggested Cut-off for Waist Circumference
Suggested Cut-Off for Waist-to-Hip Ratio
1 Lear, S., James, P., Ko, G. et al. Appropriateness of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio cutoffs for different ethnic groups. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 42–61 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2009.70
2 US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1990).
Approaches and Practical Applications
Dr. John La Puma defines Culinary Medicineas a new evidence-based field in medicine that blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine. Through Culinary Medicine, doctors and health care professionals learn how to cook healthy food and teach what they learn to their patients. Teaching kitchens become extensions of clinics. Food is prescribed on top of medicines and sometimes successfully replaces traditional medicines. Most cooking sessions happen in kitchen facilities designed to promote learning. The pandemic made virtual cooking classes possible. The Mediterranean Diet Scoring System is an effective approach that assesses the quality of food intake because of the robust evidence it provides in predicting positive health outcomes.