Sunday, November 23, 2014

Promoting & Learning about Nutrition and Food Safety Through Social Media

The field of dietetics is not know for being "above the curve" on basically anything. Some people see dietitians as scary, overbearing, or intimidating. In order to change this perception, we need to change our approach. According to the author of this article, Alice Henneman, MS,RD, there are a variety of ways to get our message out there in a way that everyone can see it, and this is through social media. Henneman used these sources to distribute information about food safety, but it could just as easily be used in a company, hospital, or outpatient facility as a source for patients when the dietitian may not be available.
This article was written in 2011, and then, 79% of American adults used some type of social networking/social media. I can only assume that number is higher now due to the easy availability of these sites. Henneman's article gives an easy yet thorough guide to different social networking platforms such as YouTube, SlideShare, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and more. I think that a lot of people may know how to use one or two of these sites, but this article really gives a good, quick explanation about each to allow you to choose the best format for whatever you are working on. I could definitely see using this in the dietetics field in the future.

Henneman, MS, RD, A. (2011, September 9). Promoting & Learning about Nutrition and Food Safety through Social Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014, from


Social Media and Nutrition Education: The Food Hero Experience

In 2009, a team made up of dietitians and other health care practitioners decided that something needed to be done about the lack of fruit and vegetable consumption in Oregon. At the time, only 26% of Oregonians were consuming over the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. A needs assessment was done and it was found that "participants valued recipes and cooking information and used online resources to get this information". Using this information, the Food Hero Initiative was formed. They developed different tips and tools to make healthy eating a more accessible goal. The Food Hero team realized that they needed to figure out which social media site would best reach their clientele (people with limited incomes), and for this purpose the found that Facebook would work best. They also discovered that followers dropped off if too many posts were logged in too short a time, so they began posting one post per day. They also made sure to track data once the site was up and running to make sure they stay relevant.
I think that this article gives a great outline to anyone in the community nutrition field that wants to make a difference in a specific area. It can be used as an outline to make changes in a variety of situations, not just an increase in fruits and vegetables.

Tobey, L., & Manore, M. (2014). Social Media and Nutrition Education: The Food Hero Experience. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 128-133.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

RD/PCP: Weight Loss Team?

Medicare has granted free one on one weight loss counseling to senior citizens, which are 30% obese. Only about 1% of the seniors have took advantage of this benefit. Primary Care Physicians are those that are getting reimbursed for these counseling session but have little to no experience with weight loss counseling. Some dietitians have made it their job to train PCPs to correctly counsel weight loss patients. Although, the amount of reimbursement is low, about $26 for 15 minutes of counseling and PCP would rather use their time for higher reimbursement services. It has been said that not a lot of seniors know about this benefit because it is not advertised, but the reason it is not advertised because most PCP do not want to perform the service. This gives RDs a chance to bring this benefit to their patients that actually want to lose the weight and cannot afford it. Also this is another opportunity for RDs to help train PCP and bridge the gap between the professions and make sure that every client is getting the same information. What do you think about this benefit and how it is so rarely used?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Achieving Optimal Food Safety in Schools

Food safety is not only important in schools, but is important in all areas of food service. As dietitians or food service managers, it is important to maintain excellent food safety programs. Food service staff must be highly trained on the subject of food safety. Not only should staff be educated about food safety, but they also need to understand how to apply what they learn. Managers should find ways to incorporate real-life examples when teaching food safety. For example, one food service manager brought in a Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network member to discuss her experiences as a mother of a child with allergies and the bad experiences they have had. Stories of real-life experiences have more of an impact on staff when learning about food safety. The topic of food allergens are an especially important matter in food safety, because allergens are more and more common in the schools. Another school food service manager motivates employees to have an excellent understanding of food safety through promotions within the department. A staff member who wants to advance his or her position needs to be formally trained through a ServSafe food safety program before becoming a cafeteria supervisor.

It is also important that staff have the right tools to carry out their responsibilities with regards to food safety. For instance if the staff does not have different color buckets they can use to wash, rinse, and sanitize, this process may not be done correctly. Making food safety responsibilities simple and convenient for staff will ensure that the job is being done right. Some food service managers are even using new technology to make taking the temperatures of food simpler and less time-consuming. One school uses a thermocouple thermometer, which has been streamlined. The device uploads the school menus daily and provides the proper temperature for each. It is similar to an instant-read thermometer and reveals the food’s temperature as it’s tested before automatically recoding the temperature into the equipment. The staff members do not have to manually chart the temperatures this way. In addition to this, there are coolers and freezers that are wiressly connected to the internet and will send alerts via email or text to the food service manager if temperatures are outside the parameters. It is definitely really interesting to see the technologies that are being developed to improve food safety. It is important for managers to stay up to date with all of these trends to ensure optimal food safety in their facility.

Link to article:


Building a Career Through Public Speaking — Learn What It Takes to Get Started and Become Successful

Some nutrition professionals use the social media and blogging as a way to promote their business. Others use the public speaking, through conferences, education events or non-profit organizations, as a way to improve their career and boost their professional influence. This article explains some steps for RDs that helps them in their public speaking experience.
·        Set your goals “why do you want to do public speaking?” This will help to identify the audience.
·        It is recommended that RDs turn to the Academy to start her experience with public speaking within their local area, and then expand in the state and national level. Participate in the media and speakers' specialty group which is part of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group (DPG).
·        Speak about what you are an expert in. If your specialty in weight management, start with support groups in your local areas and gradually expand your experience. The audience can tell when your speech comes from research and practical experience.
·        Do not expect to be paid if you were beginner or you are speaking in a local level. When RDs become expert in public speaking, they can determine their annual income as RD and then calculate how much time they spend on building the speech.  
·        Join workshops/programs that help you to master the skills of public speaking. Practicing and repetition will help you to develop your own style. Also, watch others speaks and learn from them and take notes of what audience enjoy.
·        Venues of speaking may include Chambers of commerce, Charity fundraisers, Clubs “women’s, business, special interest, Colleges and universities, Conferences and conventions, Faith-based organizations, Governments, Hospitals, Nonprofits, and Youth/children’s organizations)
·        Great resources that help RDs develop their public speaking skills: (National Speakers Association, Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Grou, Toastmasters International, and Books: Power Speak by Dorothy Leeds & Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath).

According to Michelle May, MD, CSP “Speaking is a great way to help people, build your business, and help serve. Public speaking can give dietitians higher profiles that can open doors and opportunities that not only can build their business and brand but elevate their careers” 

Zanteson, L. (2014, August 1). Building a Career Through Public Speaking — Learn What It Takes to Get Started and Become Successful. Today’s Dietitian, 38-38.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Scope of Practice: Application for CNM

When looking at different duties of the CNM it is important to guide the RDN's and DTR's for their scope of practice. The RDN's and DTR's should/must be able to answer the question what is withing my scope of practice? RDN's and DTR's should complete ongoing self-assessment of skills, education, training and knowledge along with knowing what their autonomy and responsibilities are. There are multiple ways that either professional can find information on scope of practice. The CNM's role is to help the RDN's and DTR's on staff and should encourage staff members in determining scope of practice and new opportunities or responsibilities. The article gave an overview of the different sources that can offer guidance or answer questions. The Scope of Practice in Nutrition and Dietetics provides a range of roles, activities and regulations that nutrition professionals can follow. The scope of practice allows professionals to become leaders that can provide safe and culturally competent practices. The scope of practice decision tool is an online interactive tool that can guide practitioners through the evaluation process of the scope of practice. It is always important for CNM's to give guidance for further opportunities.


Williams, V. (2014). Utilizing the comprehensive scope of practice resources: application for the clinical nutrition manger and their staff. Future Dimensions in Clinical Nutrition Practice.  

Therapeutic Diet Ordering Privileges

                In May, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave RDs working in a hospital the ability to order therapeutic diets without requiring a physician’s order.  While this is a step forward for RDs, this same ruling also states that the hospital has the right to give these ordering privileges to any nutrition professional.  That nutrition professional does not necessarily have to be an RD.  There have been mixed reactions to this decision, some saying that by including other nutrition professionals it minimizes an RD’s credentials.  Others felt with the inclusion of other nutrition professionals, that RDs can “up their game” and prove why they knowledge and skills are valuable.  In either case, it is important for this ruling to define what a qualified nutrition professional is.  It was decided that the hospitals have the ability to decide who and who is not a qualified nutrition professional on an individual basis.  The ruling states, “Not every nutrition professional or every dietitian will automatically be able to write independent orders.”  The decision must include medical staff recommendations for each individual.  Overall, it has been considered a step in the right direction for RDs and a huge win for nutrition professionals.  The Academy did not directly give a statement to Today’s Dietitian, however, in other press releases the AND states they are focusing on the ways their members will benefit from this new ruling.   

Schaeffer, J. (2014). Therapeutic Diet Ordering Privileges: What the CMS Final Rule Says, to Whom It Applies, and What RDs and Other Nutrition Professionals Think About It. Today’s Dietitian, 16(10):48. Retrieved from: