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Portrait: John La Puma

John Joseph La Puma

Professional Focus Dr. John Joseph La Puma is board certified in Internal Medicine specializing in nutrition and how it relates to diseases in the human body. Dr. La Puma’s medical interests include nutrition and food science.

After graduating with honors and receiving his undergraduate degree, Dr. La Puma earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine. He then completed a fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics and General Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. Currently Dr. La Puma currently works at Chef Clinic Nutritional Medical Corporation and at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital as a staff physician helping to educate and treat others with health-related culinary education.

Dr. La Puma’s research focuses on culinary medicine. He has studied and written several research publications and has authored and co-authored over ten books relating to his specialty. He enjoys teaching cooking, and co-created "Chef MD" to offer healthy easy recipes and was the sole author of ”Refuel" to help men and women get strong and lean.

Member survey feedback:
“Dr. La Puma was very thorough and has a great connection with his patients. I appreciated that he clearly did a lot of research prior to meeting with me. He also did not rush me and took plenty of time to talk through my problem with me.”
Honors & Awards Fellow of the American College of Physicians

National Association of Medical Communicators' highest honor and national prize.

Written and hosted PBS Special called Eat and Cook Healthy with Dr. John La Puma
Research & Publications Selected Publications:

Polak R, Phillips M, Nordgren J, La Puma J, et al. Health-related Culinary Education: A Summary of Representative Emerging Programs for Health Professionals and Patients. Global Adv Health Med. 2016;5(1):61-68.

La Puma J. “What is Culinary Medicine and What Does It Do?” Population Health Management 2015 June; doi:10.1089/pop.2015.0003; and 2016 Feb 1; 19(1): 1–3.

La Puma J. Refuel. (Harmony/Crown, 2014)

La Puma J, Marx RP. ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine. Crown, New York, 2008.

La Puma J, Szapary P, Maki K. “Predictors of physician obesity: a U.S. prospective study of practicing physicians.” Nutrition & Food Science 2005; 35(5):315-319

La Puma J, Szapary P, Maki K. “Physicians recommendations for and personal use of lowfat and low-carbohydrate diets.” Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005 Feb;29(2):251-3.

La Puma J, Szapary P, Maki K. “Physicians' personal intake and prescription of weight loss products: are we practicing what we preach? Arch Intern Med. 2004 Apr 12;164(7):806-7.

Roizen MF, La Puma J. Cooking the RealAge Way. HarperResource, New York, 2003.

La Puma J, Schiedermayer DL. “Medical Meeting Meals at Specialty Meetings: A Preliminary Empiric Assessment.” Dis Manag. 2003 Winter;6(4):191-7.

La Puma J, Schiedermayer DL. “Nutritional Analysis of an Airline Meal.” Annals of Internal Medicine 2003; 139 (5):W-70.
Adult onset diabetes
Diabetes type II
Dysmetabolic syndrome
High cholesterol
Insulin resistance syndrome
Metabolic syndrome
Vitamin deficiency
Weight issues
Culinary medicine
Dietary supplementation
Glucose tolerance test ( GTT )
Nutritional counseling
Vitamin supplementation
University of Chicago - Clinical Medical Ethics and General Internal Medicine
University of California Los Angeles - Internal Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
Medical School
Board Certifications
American Board of Internal Medicine
Hospital Affiliation
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital