Thursday, November 27, 2014

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics GENIE Resource

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics GENIE Resource

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation and ConAgra Foods Foundation have developed a tool for dietitians to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nutrition education programs that they have designed. Its name, “GENIE”, stands for “Guide for Effective Nutrition Intervention and Education”. This tool can serve as a resource for the development and improvement of nutrition programs. The website can serve as a quality improvement tool for CNMs to measure ways to improve performance. The website listed below has more information and videos explaining this tool. It also contains a link to the self-assessment checklist which is free to AND members. This is also a great resource to use in grant writing to determine if your program is strong enough to potentially receive funding.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stop the Dieting Madness

In a recent published article “Long-Term Effects of 4 Popular Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials” in Circulation Cardiovascular Quality of Outcomes, the authors aimed to examine the efficacy of 3 popular book-based macronutrient focused diets and 1 commercialized calorie restrictive program.  These diets included Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and Weight Watchers.  Although these diets obviously produce short-term weight loss, the long term affects of these diets (>12 months) have yet to be determined, which is why this study was completed.  The results found that although all 4 diets provided significant weight loss short term, the benefits were not long lasting and often resulted in weight regain.

In response to the article, Dr. David Katz responded in an editorial where he compares these types of diets and the people who follow them as beauty pageants.  He states, “What ensues is seemingly never-ending, beauty pageant of dietary contestants, each emphasizing what differentiates it from others and each contending to be the best.  And along with each diets come its entourage, singing its praises, disparaging the competition, and seeking the profits that come with wearing the tiara.”

As RD’s to be, we are aware the millions of dollars devoted to the weight loss industry each year and the various diets that promising these amazing results.  We also know that these fad diets are counterproductive in achieving long-term weight maintenance.  We need to be ready when our client or patient claims to have found the diet that will get them to their “perfect body.”  Knowing that, maybe instead we need to focus on educating on developing a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.  Maybe we need to teach them to stop eating when they are full, how to choose healthy foods to feel better, how to allow for indulges, and how eat a wide variety of foods.   

Atallah, R., Filion, K.B., Wakil, S.M., Genest, J., Joseph, L., Poirier, P.,..Eisenberg, M.J. (2014). Long-term effects of 4 popular diets on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.  Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Retrieved from 
Katz, D. “Diets, Diatribes, and a Dearth of Data.” Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 11 Nov 2014. Editorial.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Learn While You Shop

Grocery stores are now offering dietitians to help consumers make healthy decisions and answering their questions. Which is definitely a step in the right direction for dietitians and making them visible to the community. Now grocery stores in are offering cooking classes for people to learn the cooking basics and answering the old age question, “what is for dinner?”. It is a really family experience that includes the entire family and encourages bonding time within the family. This is also a great date idea. Class sizes range from 20-60 depending on the type of class and the space. They also range in price depending on the store and what the dish is being prepared. This is another opportunity for RDs to become visible by joining these classes and making healthier option easy for families to try.


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?