U.S. CapitolCall Today: Ask Your Members of Congress to Co-sponsor the ENRICH Act

Please take a minute to ask your Representative to sign on as co-sponsor of the ENRICH Act. Please be polite and encouraging. Use the following talking points as a guide:

  • I am calling as a constituent to urge you to sign on as co-sponsor of the ENRICH Act (H.R. 4427).
  • The ENRICH Act is a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to increase nutrition education in medical schools.
  • There is a federal recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences that medical schools teach at minimum 25 hours of nutrition.
  • In fact, medical schools are providing less nutrition education than ever before, and the majority hardly provide any hours in nutrition. Only 27 percent provide the minimum 25 hours of nutrition education, a decrease from 38 percent in 2004.
  • The ENRICH Act addresses the nutrition gap – the lack of nutrition education and awareness among health care providers despite the growing prevalence of diet-related disease among patients – by bringing medical schools up to federal recommendations for nutrition education (minimum of 25 hours).
  • It is paid for with existing funds and would not increase the deficit. It would provide $15 million in grants – or less than 0.5 percent of the total budget for HHS – for medical schools to integrate nutrition education into medical school curricula.
  • The bill is modeled off of the success of NIH’s Nutrition Academic Award program that gave grants to medical schools to increase nutrition education from 1998-2005.
  • Seven out of ten deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes that can be prevented and treated through proper nutrition and other lifestyle changes.
  • Chronic disease accounts for 75% of the $2 trillion spent on healthcare annually in the US
  • Unfortunately, our health care providers lack the necessary knowledge to prevent and treat these diseases through diet; 94 percent of physicians feel that nutrition counseling should be part of primary care visits, but only 14 percent feel qualified to offer it.
  • The ENRICH Act is supported by a broad coalition of organizations including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
  • The bill supports the Healthy People 2020 initiative of including more nutrition counseling in physician office visits.
  • Please sign on as a co-sponsor of the ENRICH Act and do everything you can to ensure its passage.

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Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
Phone: 202-686-2210 Email: pcrm@pcrm.org

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