Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Second Department


Reader 1

Alicia Bonaparte

Reader 2

Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2014 Sarah Han


Nearly 11 million deaths in 2012 can be attributed to ischemic and hypertensive heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Yet, these diseases are highly preventable and even treatable via improvement in nutritional intake and physical activity. From a public health perspective, primary care providers have promising and population-wide potential for modifying patient behavior to reduce dietary risk factors. However substantial socio-structural barriers prevent physicians from applying nutrition to improve patient outcomes. In my thesis, I first examine the epidemiological context in both the populations of United States and Switzerland. I then elucidate the importance and context of the application of nutrition knowledge in primary care based on the ideologies of holistic, patient-centered health. Then, I identify and analyze the obstacles physicians face in applying nutrition in patient care, as well as the sociological structures in which these barriers arise. Lastly, I set forth models of progress to improve patient outcome via reformed and restructured application of nutrition in primary care, using studies of exemplary strategies for addressing these barriers to nutrition counseling.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.