Food and nutrition science is always changing. Dietitians play an important role treating nutrition-related illness and promoting health with nutrition education. This article describes a dietitians role, responsibilities, and what this means to you.
What is a dietitian?
A dietitian is a protected title given to a person with a nutrition and dietetics bachelor’s or a master’s degree which is recognised by a regulatory body. Student dietitians must complete strict supervised assessments and meet competency standards before they can practice dietetics.
A dietitian’s knowledge is broad in that they understand the relationships between food, nutrition, and many different illnesses. However, many specialise in different areas of practice like clinical practice, health promotion, food service management or research. Many dietitians also specialise in health areas like paediatrics, gastroenterology, eating disorders or pregnancy. Regardless of their speciality, dietitians have an in-depth understanding of the economic, environmental, and social influences that affect food selection and factor this into their practice.
A dietitian has professional obligations
Dietitians practice to a set of moral principles and must follow the professional code of conduct and ethical standards defined by their regulatory body. Every year, they must complete many hours of professional education to maintain competence. Dietitians are subject to audits to ensure they are meeting their professional obligations.
This all sounds pretty heavy but there is a reason for all of the red tape, and that is you.
What this all means
Dietitians dedicate their profession to achieving better nutrition outcomes for individuals and communities. Food and nutrition are not a one-size-fits-all approach and dietitians know that healthy eating is not as simple as telling someone to eat healthily. They will consider all factors including an individual’s physical environment, financial situation, social considerations and safety in their recommendations. Recommendations are supported by scientific evidence so you know that you are receiving credible information.
What does this mean on Eatly?
As a dietitian myself and editor of Eatly, I treat Eatly as my online dietetic practice and I follow these principles and professional obligations. Though Eatly provides general food and nutrition guidance as opposed to individual guidance, all articles take a balanced view and consider all things that affect food choice. This includes lifestyle, budget, time, and social demands. Eatly articles are try to give multiple options to suit different circumstances.
To read more about Kim’s other activities as a dietitian in her non-virtual world you can read more over here.
Dietitians Association of Australia. Definition of a dietitian [Internet]. Canberra: Dietitians Association of Australia; n.d. Cited 2017 Sep 25. Available From: https://daa.asn.au/what-dietitans-do/definition-of-a-dietitian/