In 2018, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, True Health Initiative and Food Revolution Network joined forces to launch a petition calling on the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to add whole foods nutrition-related questions to the question bank provided to medical schools. Dozens of the most distinguished medical authorities in the United States signed on. NBME responded with acceptance, and a challenge. They said that if we get the suitable questions, written by qualified professionals – they will add them to the question bank.


To: National Board of Medical Examiners

Suzanne T. Anderson, Chair
Peter J. Katsufrakis, MD, President
Lynn M. Cleary, MD, Vice Chair
Paul M. Wallach, MD, Treasurer
Lewis R. First, MD, MS, Executive Board
Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, Executive Board
Joseph P. Grande, MD, PhD, Executive Board
Janelle A. Rhyne, MD, MA, Executive Board
Nuno J.C. Sousa, MD, PhD, Executive Board
Alfred F. Tallia, MD, MPH, Executive Board
Alison J. Whelan, MD, Executive Board
Donald E. Melnick, MD, Executive Board

I am urging you to make science-based whole foods nutrition a minimum of 5% of clinically relevant medical school graduate exam tests. Food is the foundation of health, and all doctors should know the fundamental role that a whole foods plant-predominant diet can play in preventing and reversing many of the most pervasive ailments of our times. The National Board of Medical Examiners has a responsibility to lead the charge towards a more nutritionally aware medical community.

Signed by:

  • Christina Economos, PhD — New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
  • Christopher Gardner, PhD — Director of Nutrition Studies, Director of NIH/NHLBI Postdoctoral Training Program, Stanford Prevention Research Center
  • Dariush Mozzaffarian, MD — Dean, Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy
  • David Allison, MD – Dean, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington 
  • David Jenkins MD, FRSC, FRCP, FRCPC, OC, PhD, DSc — Professor  in both the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, University of Toronto
  • David Katz, MD — Founding director, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center; Founder, True Health Initiative
  • Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH — Chief Medical Director, Executive Director Global Health and Wellness
  • Elaine Rush, MNZM, PHD — Professor of Nutrition, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Gary Egger, MPH, PHD, MAPS — Director, Centre for Health Promotion and Research Pty Ltd, Sydney; Professor (Lifestyle Medicine), School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University
  • Hans Diehl, DrHSDc, MPH, FACN — Founder, Lifestyle Medicine Institute of Loma Linda University
  • Joan Sabate, MD, DRPH — Director, Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention, Loma Linda University School of Public Health
  • JoAnn Manson, MD, MPH, DRPH — Professor of Medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health, Harvard Medical School
  • Joel Fuhrman, MD — President, Nutritional Research Foundation
  • Kim Williams, MD — Immediate Past President, American College of Cardiology; Chief, Division of Cardiology, Rush University Medical Center
  • Marion Nestle, PhD — Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, New York University; Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University
  • Mary Story, PhD, RD — Professor of Global Health and Community and Family Medicine, Duke University
  • Michael Greger, MD, FACLM — Founder, NutritionFacts.org
  • Michael Jacobson, PhD — Co-founder and Executive Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Michael O’Donnell, PhD, MBA, MPH — CEO, Art and Science of Health Promotion Institute; Director of the Health Management Research Center at the University of Michigan
  • Neal Barnard, MD — Founding President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  • Ocean Robbins, Co-founder and CEO, The Food Revolution Network
  • Robert Kushner, MD, MS — Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Clinical Director, the Northwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity; Medical Director, the Center for Lifestyle Medicine
  • Scott Kahan, MD — Director , the National Center for Weight and Wellness; faculty, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; faculty, the George Washington University School of Medicine; faculty, the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services      
  • Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, MS — Associate Professor, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Susan Benigas — Executive Director, American College of Lifestyle Medicine
  • Tom Rifai, MD, FACP — Regional Medical Director of Metabolic Health and Weight Management, Henry Ford Health System in Metro Detroit, Michigan
  • Tom Robinson. MD, MPH — Irving Schulman MD Endowed Professor in Child Health, Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine, Stanford University
  • Walter Willett, MD, DRPH — Chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Wayne Dysinger, MD, MPH — Chief Executive Officer, Lifestyle Medicine Solutions
  • Michael Klaper, M.D., Executive Director, Moving Medicine Forward Initiative