Culinary Medicine - multicentre evaluation launched at the universities of Brandenburg, Gießen and Göttingen
Following successful development and piloting at the University Medical Centre Göttingen https://s.gwdg.de/lwjtoh, two further universities, the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane and the University Medical Centre of the Justus Liebig University Giessen, have started teaching the innovative elective Culinary Medicine at the beginning of the summer semester 2021. Culinary Medicine translates current nutritional medical findings into the living environments of patients and improves medical counselling competence in nutrition-associated diseases. The teaching format is an indication-based cooking course (Teaching Kitchen) based on the evidence-based guideline Nutrition Therapy in Clinic and Practice (LEKuP) (Hauner et al. 2019 https://www.dgem.de/pressemitteilungs-archiv-122019 ). The LEKuP covers all important nutritional indications https://s.gwdg.de/1rb0ZG
The goals of this cooperation are, on the one hand, to strengthen the importance of nutritional medicine already in medical studies. 70-80 percent of all diseases have a nutritional cause, a nutritional background or a nutritional therapeutic consequence. The consequences of malnutrition, overnutrition or nutritional deficiencies are numerous diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, lipometabolic disorders, coronary heart disease, cancer, cachexia and hormonal disorders. (Memorandum of the Federal Association of German Nutrition Physicians e.V. (BDEM), the German Society for Nutritional Medicine e.V. (DGEM) and the German Academy of Nutritional Medicine e.V. (DAEM) of 30.03.2021 see below). Despite the great importance of better nutritional medical care, nutritional medicine content is underrepresented in medical studies at German universities. The knowledge taught so far during medical studies is not sufficient to guarantee adequate training in nutritional medicine for doctors at the latest scientific level (Memorandum of BDEM, DGEM & DAEM of 30.03.2021(https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/home and https://s.gwdg.de/ETymXx).
The new elective Culinary Medicine makes an important first contribution to improving the situation for medical students. In 28 course hours, clinical indications based on the evidence-based LEKuP and a practical nutrition therapy derived from it are synergistically brought together. Appropriate case studies complement the teaching.
On the other hand, the effectiveness of the Culinary Medicine course with regard to counselling skills for diet- and lifestyle-related diseases will be researched in detail through the multicentre evaluation. This also involves raising medical students' awareness of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in the sense of Planetary Health (Eat Lancet 2019 https://s.gwdg.de/oC3x9Y) and improving cooperation with other nutrition professions. Questions derived from this are to be investigated through doctorates at all participating universities.
Until November 2020, the elective subject Culinary Medicine at Göttingen University Medical School was taught with a hygiene concept in presence. Due to the pandemic, the teaching concept was reworked for digital implementation and has been taught exclusively digitally since December 2020. The students are connected to the lecturers in the teaching kitchen via video conferencing software and interactively cook the previously selected recipes in their own kitchen. Both nutritional-physiological and practical-culinary aspects are continuously discussed. The programme starts with a short introductory presentation on the clinical frame of reference.
"We are clearly positively surprised at how well Culinary Medicine can also be taught digitally," says PD Dr. med. Thomas Ellrott, who heads the project at the University Medical Centre Göttingen. "However, we have also noticed that the interactivity between teachers and students decreases significantly when there are more than about 12 students in the online format," Ellrott explains further.
Due to the ongoing tense pandemic situation, the multi-centre evaluation in the summer semester of 2021 will also be carried out in completely digital teaching at all three university locations. In the process, all institutions will use the same course materials, conduct the course in the same form (7 course days of 4 teaching hours each) and also use the same specially programmed LIME survey for evaluation so that the data collected can be jointly evaluated and published. "The excellent cooperation between the universities in this innovative field is part of the intended co-creation process," comments Uwe Neumann, Chairman of the Board of CookUOS e.V., "and we would be delighted if more interested universities joined in."
The model project Culinary Medicine of the Institute for Nutrition & Psychology at the Georg-August-University Göttingen Medical Center, and CookUOS e.V.. (Osnabrück) has been funded by the Rut and Klaus Bahlsen Foundation (Hanover) since December 2019. After evaluation, all teaching materials will be published as open access.