Affiliations: [a] Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy | [b] Department of Pediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy | [c] IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Cadorna 90, 28044 Piancavallo (VB), Italy. e-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: The role of general practitioners (GPs) and family paediatricians (FPs) in nutrition education and counselling for the general population is crucial. However, time constraints, insufficient knowledge and lack of suitable educational instruments have so far prevented family doctors from having an active role in this respect. In this paper the project “Osservatorio Nutrizionale Grana Padano (ON-GP)”, launched in 2005, an innovative and powerful tool for nutritional education and epidemiological monitoring by GPs and FPs, is described. GPs and FPs agreed to participate on a voluntary basis and were from all Italian regions. So far, since 2005, over 17,250 subjects (6306 children and 10,944 adults) have been surveyed by 346 GPs and 207 paediatricians. In addition to the possibility of free use of the software for clinical and educational purposes, GPs and FPs are also invited to take part in epidemiological research in order to build a nationwide database. The results of the survey are disseminated on an annual basis to family doctors and as a press release to the media, together with messages of nutrition education targeted to the general population. The success of the project so far – beyond all expectations – has prompted the planning of further improvements.