Half of the top 10 leading causes of death in the US are related in some way to nutrition: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Lifestyle has a great deal to do with how sick or healthy we are, and most medical doctors do not have enough time to learn about their patients’ lifestyle to offer drug-free solutions. Chiropractors, on the other hand, are perfectly trained to assess the whole patient, including not only their physical complaints and characteristics, but their lifestyle as well.
As a way of adding to the range of therapies they can offer to their patients, many chiropractors also specialize in important areas of health care, such as nutrition. A chiropractic nutrition specialist has spent over 300 hours of post-graduate study in learning about how nutrition impacts the body and how to teach their patients about following a healthy diet. The training these chiropractors undertake is usually far more than most physicians get in medical school, where nutrition is simply not an area of focus.
According to an article in American Chiropractor written by S. J. Press, “Chiropractors qualified in the field of nutrition are able to give pertinent advice on vitamin supplementation, dietary intakes, environmental toxicities, homeostasis, and biomechanical reactions of bodily systems.” Chiropractors have always been grounded in the holistic approach to treating patients, and they are aware that eating a healthy diet is just as important in the maintenance of a healthy musculoskeletal system as having a chiropractic adjustment.
The American Clinical Board of Nutrition (ACBN) is responsible for giving diplomate status (DACBN) to post-doctoral candidates (such as Doctors of Chiropractic) who have proven sufficient post-graduate training in nutrition and who pass a two-part examination. The Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (CBCN) operates under the auspices of the American Chiropractic Association and provides teaching, examination and certification for chiropractors in the field of nutrition.
The ACBN notes that it is committed to assuring its members are trained to help alleviate the huge problem we have today with chronic diseases that are so costly to society in terms of lives lost and dollars spent on treatment. “The ACBN, acting as agents of social change, provides the public with the quality assurance that its certificants are held to a higher standard; a standard of excellence that is assessed by quality control measures such as demonstrating yearly academic continuing education in the field of nutrition. While health care professionals may practice nutrition unique to their own professional field, the commonality of basic nutrition binds the ACBN as one. Many of our certificants are the authors of nutrition textbooks, others are professors teaching nutrition, and many are in private practice treating patients.”