Food As Medicine: Teaching Young Doctors to Cook in an Effort to Improve Patient Nutrition


As part of an effort to change students’ perspectives about using food as medicine, medical students at WVU Charleston took a cooking class yesterday.

“One of the things that we talked about is probably 70 percent of the adults that they’ll see in the clinics have some form of metabolic disease that is directly related to nutritional status,” said Doctor Rosemarie Lorenzetti, a professor of family medicine at West Virginia University Medical School. The class was co-led by Lorenzetti and CAMC Executive Chef Bill Dodson.

Lorenzetti has offered this class for the past three years at the medical school’s Eastern Division. The school has expanded the class this year to both the Morgantown and Charleston locations.


Credit Kara Lofton / WV Public Broadcasting
WV Public Broadcasting
Students chop strawberries for an avocado-based mousse during Monday’s cooking class.

Lorenzetti says she hopes that the young doctors will learn to help their patients make small nutritional changes that can make a big change in health.

“For example, find out if your patient is a sweet or salty snacker – most people are one or the other – and help people find something that is healthier for them that would still satisfy whatever need,” she said.

Lorenzetti is also beginning to offer cooking classes to the public. Last month she held a “cooking with clergy” class for pastors in the Eastern Panhandle.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.