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December 2021

Zur Situation und Struktur der Ernährungsmedizin in Deutschland

Journal/Book: Aktuelle Ernährungsmedizin. 1987; 6 (12): 191-196.

Abstract: Nutritional medicine aims at the on-target use of research-based dietary as part of medical practice. On the one hand, health should be preserved by suitable dietetic measures (prevention), and an the other hand it should be restored if it has been impaired (therapy). Nutritional medicine has in fact developed into a discipline in its own right which differs from general nutritional science and from nutritional physiology although it depends an dose cooperation with these as far as research is concerned.Progress in this field depends an research facilities. Nine departments exist at West German universities devoted to this discipline which were set up between 1958 and 1977, but only about half of them are really independent departments. This state of affairs has remained unchanged for the last ten years.A doctor and his team are responsible for nutritional therapy in hospitals. Unfortunately, the assistants and caterers or kitchen departments are still mostly part of the administration and not of the medical management. An important training centre has been set up in Freiburg: the "Academy of Nutritional Medicine" which can turn out properly trained assistants and doctors.Qualified dietetic regimens are insufficiently looked after by general practitioners, so that outpatients do not get the full benefit of research results. There is a lack of effectivity and systematic organisation, and existing models are unsatisfactory. Hence there is a considerable demand for improvement in this field.Nevertheless, there has been quite considerable progress during the past 20 years, and some skeleton structures have appeared. But an the whole the overall situation is an unsatisfactory one if one considers how much nutritional medicine has to offer to both individual patients and to public health in general.

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