Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Institute Of Human Nutrition To Develop Online Internet Nutrition Education With Nutritionu.Com

New York, NY July 6, 2000 — Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition will provide its expertise in nutrition education to the development of online course content for NutritionU.com. Courses will be designed to make practical and understandable nutrition information accessible to a broad audience, including but not limited to clients of registered dietitians and other healthcare professionals. Courses will be offered initially in a test mode and will be fully operational by early next year.
“NutritionU fills a void that physicians and other healthcare professionals need to help educate our patients and the public about the role they can play in enjoying a healthier lifestyle,” said Richard Deckelbaum, M.D., Robert R. Williams Professor of Nutrition and Director of Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition. “As a physician, an advocate for improved public healthcare, and head of a leading nutrition institute, I have first-hand experience with the complexities and overwhelming number of choices that patients and consumers have in dealing with how best to understand a disease or condition and subsequently deciding how to best treat it from a nutrition point of view.”
NutritionU.com. is a new online nutrition education network created by AMBI — a company that develops and markets proprietary nutrition products. The site will offer patients and consumers unique interactive courses designed to increase their knowledge of nutrition in order to improve or maintain their health. The company will start by offering clients of registered dietitians and other healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn more about their disease or condition. There are more than 70,000 registered dietitians, diabetes educators, and other healthcare professionals in the United States. These highly trained, certified healthcare professionals see more than two million patients and clients annually with, for example, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and digestive and eating disorders. Many patients are referred by physicians. It is well established that proper adherence to diet and lifestyle modifications is a critical factor in disease management and the prevention of worsening health conditions.
“Our market research indicated that there is a substantial knowledge gap both among patients with diagnosed diseases and consumers in general with regard to the difference between what they think they know and what they actually know about the role of nutrition in assisting in disease management and prevention,” said Fredric D. Price, AMBI’s president and chief executive officer, founder of NutritionU and its acting CEO. “Despite the proliferation of Internet Web sites that have a significant amount of data available, we now understand that patients and consumers have a great deal of difficulty extracting information from data and turning it into knowledge. And having knowledge is the key to taking action that can be beneficial for patients and consumers in general. NutritionU will make this knowledge available in an easy-to-use, exciting, low-cost format.”
Dietetics has a venerable history in medicine that stretches back at least to Hippocrates, who regarded it as virtually inseparable from medicine. In fact, four of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States are diet-related conditions — diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
“Nutrition is a key lifestyle tool to improve health and reduce disease risk,” says Dr. Deckelbaum. “NutritionU provides an ideal way to empower individuals to take charge of their health in a proactive, economical, informative, and provocative way.”
Visitors to NutritionU’s website –www.NutritionU.com –can get information and leave their name and email address so that they can be contacted when the company is fully operational.

Also on CUMC News: