In case you missed it, yesterday was National Registered Dietitian Day (if you did miss it, please go celebrate your favorite dietitian now!). And we came across a piece that answered a question that everyone should know the answer to: What does a dietitian do?
Mary-Jo Sawyer, a registered dietitian with VCU Medical Center, writes in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “All registered dietitians have at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed an accredited dietetic internship. Many registered dietitians tend to specialize in nutrition areas due to the nature of our jobs.”
Registered dietitian Tamara Melton, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Sawyer: “Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Consumers don’t know if the individual has five minutes or five years of experience — or any training at all. But when you consult an RD, you can know you are receiving advice from an educated, trained and trusted expert.”
Registered dietitians also can help people with specialized health needs: “Another patient knew he’d be healthier and lose weight if he made different food choices. [Registered dietitian Pam Dowker, an outpatient dietitian at Henrico Doctor’s Hospital, Forest Campus] asked him to keep a food log; when they reviewed it they discovered he was grazing on sweets throughout the day because he was bored. She then asked him what he was willing to change. They came up with a game plan that included smaller portions of planned sweets, but still allow for weight loss.”
Now please go celebrate your nearest dietitian!