UPMC Italy Nutrition Services: Food as Medicine in Healthcare Spotlight

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

What they do: UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Salvator Mundi International Hospital (SMIH) Nutrition Services in Rome, Italy, offers nutrition counseling and dietary programs to assist patients interested in changing their diet or with specific nutritional needs based on medical conditions. Patients who may wish to take advantage of these services include:

  • Those recovering from surgery
  • Women during post-pregnancy or menopause
  • Patients with chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver disease, and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Athletes
  • Those with food allergies or intolerances
  • Those who wish to establish a better relationship with food and those interested in losing weight.

How they do it: Services offered include:

  • Nutrition consultations
  • Customized dietary plans
  • Functional and clinical nutrition (using food as medicine)
  • Sports nutrition
  • Body composition analysis

During the initial consultation, a nutritional biologist – an expert in the mechanisms of how the foods we eat lead to sickness or promote health – will collect data relating to the patient’s daily eating habits and health status, and take measurements to calculate body mass index (BMI). They will review the patient’s medical records, including history of medical conditions, allergies, and diagnostic test results, and use that data to develop the most effective nutrition plan for the patient. 

Mission: To help patients adopt a balanced diet in order to prevent chronic diseases and reach a healthy weight.

Major Funding Sources: not disclosed 

Profit/nonprofit: N/A

Annual Budget: not disclosed

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect health: SMIH offers nutrition services as an alternative or complementary treatment for many health conditions and medical procedures, rather than strictly referring patients to pharmaceuticals that may have unnecessary side effects. 


UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital
V.le delle Mura Gianicolensi
67, 00152 Roma RM, Italy

Core Programs: Nutrition education

Number of physicians: 4 in Nutrition Services at SMIH

Areas served: Rome, Italy

Year Started: The hospital has been operating since 1951. It became part of UPMC in 2018.

Medical Director: Dr. Luigi Macchitella

Contact Information: https://upmc.it/en/locations/salvator-mundi/contact 

Learn More:

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