The primary purpose of a dietitian is to improve the client’s nutrition to positively influence health outcomes. Dietitians work as part of a multidisciplinary team to improve the well being of the client in a holistic way.
Consultations start with an assessment; this may include measuring weight and height to calculate BMI and an assessment of any previous blood tests to investigate for blood sugar and fat levels, amongst others. During the assessment, the client will also be given the opportunity to discuss what medication they take, a recall of the food consumed on an average day, and any social aspect that might be having an impact on the client’s diet.
Depending on the case, an individual’s medical history may also be discussed especially if it has the potential to affect nutrition, for instance, in cases of acute or chronic illness, injury or surgery. After the assessment, a diagnosis will be made to identify which issues should be prioritized and to set goals for the intervention. Interventions proposed will be based on scientific studies and will always be discussed and planned with the client.
This individualized approach is important to also take into consideration factors like taste and food preferences as well as lifestyle, which in turn increases adherence to the plan made with the dietitian.