Nutrition Bill Doctored in the California Senate

Nutrition Bill Doctored in the California Senate
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California Senate Bill 380 to require nutrition education for physicians was passed, but not before it was gutted.

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In the hearing to decide the fate of a California bill to mandate doctors actually be taught a little something about nutrition, you can tell the author of the bill, Dr. John McDougall, is starting to get a bit frustrated at the opposition:

Dr. McDougall: “We’re talking about over two-thirds of the problems that people suffer from are due to what they eat, yet their physician knows virtually nothing about the human diet. So how do you correct that? It’s not being done at the medical schools. It’s not being done by the CMA [California Medical Association]. It’s not being done by anybody. It has to be left to people who can make changes, like the legislature. And I’m sure there are lots of doctors out there that say, ‘I don’t need to learn about what a person eats.’ But how would you feel if you took your dog or cat to a veterinarian, and the veterinarian had no idea what to feed a dog or a cat, or a bird? I mean, wouldn’t that require some type of correction? You take a patient to a doctor, who has been trained for seven years, at least, on the human being, and you ask them what a person is to eat. They have no idea, because of the fault of education. So we can fix it, or we can ignore it. I don’t think we should ignore it. I think the price is too great, financially, and for the society, and for the individual. It’s too great to ignore. I think it’s quite obvious why people are sick in this country. And as legislators and physicians, we have a responsibility to the people that we care for. And right now, doctors are letting their patients down, and they’re letting themselves down, because the most important tool available, they know nothing about.”

In the end, Republican Mark Wyland had to make a choice—between what he knew was right, and vote yes, or his campaign contributor, the California Medical Association, and vote no.

Senator Mark Wyland: “Now, I think this is one way that…I am, I am going to vote for this, because even in these other specialties, there is a need. That same orthopedic surgeon who wants the overweight person for a hip or a knee, doesn’t know what to give them. Even if they could just hand them, you know, follow this.”

Dr. McDougall: “Could I briefly respond to that?”

So, good news, it passed—but not without first being amended. It went from requiring 12 hours, to 7 hours, to just striking the whole requirement for any hours altogether—just saying the Board of Medicine could set standards to include something, anything, on the prevention and cure of chronic disease through diet. And then, they even took away cure, and settled on some nebulous plea for information on prevention and treatment.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

In the hearing to decide the fate of a California bill to mandate doctors actually be taught a little something about nutrition, you can tell the author of the bill, Dr. John McDougall, is starting to get a bit frustrated at the opposition:

Dr. McDougall: “We’re talking about over two-thirds of the problems that people suffer from are due to what they eat, yet their physician knows virtually nothing about the human diet. So how do you correct that? It’s not being done at the medical schools. It’s not being done by the CMA [California Medical Association]. It’s not being done by anybody. It has to be left to people who can make changes, like the legislature. And I’m sure there are lots of doctors out there that say, ‘I don’t need to learn about what a person eats.’ But how would you feel if you took your dog or cat to a veterinarian, and the veterinarian had no idea what to feed a dog or a cat, or a bird? I mean, wouldn’t that require some type of correction? You take a patient to a doctor, who has been trained for seven years, at least, on the human being, and you ask them what a person is to eat. They have no idea, because of the fault of education. So we can fix it, or we can ignore it. I don’t think we should ignore it. I think the price is too great, financially, and for the society, and for the individual. It’s too great to ignore. I think it’s quite obvious why people are sick in this country. And as legislators and physicians, we have a responsibility to the people that we care for. And right now, doctors are letting their patients down, and they’re letting themselves down, because the most important tool available, they know nothing about.”

In the end, Republican Mark Wyland had to make a choice—between what he knew was right, and vote yes, or his campaign contributor, the California Medical Association, and vote no.

Senator Mark Wyland: “Now, I think this is one way that…I am, I am going to vote for this, because even in these other specialties, there is a need. That same orthopedic surgeon who wants the overweight person for a hip or a knee, doesn’t know what to give them. Even if they could just hand them, you know, follow this.”

Dr. McDougall: “Could I briefly respond to that?”

So, good news, it passed—but not without first being amended. It went from requiring 12 hours, to 7 hours, to just striking the whole requirement for any hours altogether—just saying the Board of Medicine could set standards to include something, anything, on the prevention and cure of chronic disease through diet. And then, they even took away cure, and settled on some nebulous plea for information on prevention and treatment.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out all my other videos on the medical profession and on medical education, including my corresponding blog post: Nutrition Education in Medicine: a Doctor a Day Keeps the Apples Away.

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Health Food Store Advice: Often Worthless or Worst; and Watermelon for Erectile Dysfunction.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

7 responses to “Nutrition Bill Doctored in the California Senate

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  1. It is frightening to me that there would even be a question about this. I can’t believe that Doctors wouldn’t be asking for this training themselves!
    I have very little faith in the Medical profession that only knows how to treat with pills. Sad.




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  2. My heart breaks for all the obese children, and all the children who’ll lose parents to heart disease, cancer, diseases largely preventable with diet. It boggles my mind all the plants and animals that will go extinct for the sake of all this misguided meat consumption.

    Thank you Dr. McDougall. I believe you’ll break through. This website is a great way to get more nutrition facts out there.

    I just wish that I could listen to these videos on my smart phone, instead of just the home computer (my experience is that the videos spend too much time buffering, and halt constantly, on the smart phone). Then I could listen to them when I have a few spare minutes in the day. Does anyone know if there’s a way to turn off the video part and just hear the sound?




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    1. You can pause the video while it buffers and when it has completed its download you play it without it stuttering. Turning off the video is not possible and would not help. The audio is contained within the video file and the whole file needs to be downloaded, not just the audio, in order to access the audio portion. I agree with your first and second paragraphs.




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  3. These are educated people that cannot make a right ,and moral decision to protect all of Californians even his own parents.The money that he gets from Health Associations is what worry’s him.Republicans are full of crap and i hate to say that I’m a Republican.
    I guess money is more important than doing the right and moral thing, I guess that is what he learned from his mother , father,schools,and life.




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  4. This is shocking and disappointing. What is a good way to find a physician who is treating patients and who is also well educated on how to cure chronic disease through nutrition?




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