1. What is a Dietitian?
As its most basic definition, a dietitian supports people with food and nutrition so that they can live healthier and better well-being.
2. What Do They Do?
Dietitians try to improve their health and prevent diseases by educating everyone who is part of the system, especially patients and doctors. They do this by interpreting the science of nutrition in an appropriate way. Apart from that, they make various dietary interventions when necessary, and they do this completely based on scientific literature. They can also provide various medications or additional nutritional supplements to the necessary situations. Again, for some patients, they work in a partnership with physical therapists and psychologists to find the best treatment for the patient.
3. Where Do They Work?
Dietitians can work in various hospitals and private health clinics, especially in the food industry, factories as well as social foundations focused on various diseases, nurseries, nursing homes, large companies, sports organizations.
4. Nutritionist Vs Dietitian
Although these two professions are related to each other, there are differences in legal regulations, especially depending on the countries. Both occupational groups work to protect people’s health in terms of food and nutrition or to prevent various health problems. Despite this, the biggest difference between the two occupational groups is this professional can also work on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, depending on the training they receive. However, in many countries dietitians work on personalized diet plans, while nutritionists work on regulations related to general public health.
5. What Topics Do They Focus On?
Dietitians basically work with eating habits. At this point, any disease or change that affects your eating order is of interest to them. Examples include obesity, diabetes, eating disorders, allergies, food intolerances, and various metabolic disorders. In addition, topics such as general eating habits, weight gain, nutrition during pregnancy and pre/post surgery nutrition are among the working areas of dietitians.
6. What’s Treatment Like?
During your appointments, your dietitian will start by learning your basic health history. Information such as your daily eating and exercise habits, chronic diseases (if you have any), the medications you use, your daily general routines, and the allergies you have are very important for this professional. Afterwards, a special nutrition program will be created for you depending on the information you have given. The process will continue by making additions and subtractions to the plan along the way as your progress is assessed in the following sessions.
If you’d like to book a consultation with a dietitian, you can do so here.
Ezgi Nur Budak is a postgraduate psychologist in Clinical and Health Psychology and volunteers at Willingness.