Don’t forget the veggies! Identifying and addressing a lack of vegetable education in physiology

Christian Moro*, Charlotte Phelps, Michelle McLean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ninety-five percent of Westerners do not consume the recommended daily vegetable intake, exacerbating the incidence of obesity, malnutrition, and nutritional deficiencies such as fiber. This article reviews the literature from PubMed, ERIC, and Web of Science, as well as Internet sites and government resources, to identify what should be considered important inclusions relating to dietary vegetable (including legumes and pulses) intake content in university physiology subjects. The primary aim is to advance the competency relating to good nutrition knowledge for future health professionals to enable them to guide and counsel patients and clients toward better health. A review of the literature provides scant nutritional content relating to vegetable intake, particularly across physiology subjects and health professional programs in general. A review of country dietary guidelines yielded discrepancies and ambiguity around recommended daily vegetable intake, including what constitutes essential vegetables. Educators responsible for embedding nutritional information in the curriculum would therefore be challenged to find reliable, evidence-based resources. Adding quality curriculum content on the importance of vegetable intake also promotes some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), thereby contributing to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being). This article offers recommendations on how to embed content relating to the importance of dietary vegetables for good health and guidance for educators of health professions programs wanting to improve their curriculum content relating to adequate nutrition. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Is nutritional literacy an important concept in physiology? This article identifies a paucity of content and addresses the need for vegetable intake education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-731
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education
Issue number4
Early online date13 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


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