March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also a time when the Academy celebrates registered dietitians as the food and nutrition experts.
"March 14 marks the fifth annual Registered Dietitian Day, reminding everyone that a registered dietitian is the best source of practical, affordable and credible food and nutrition information," says registered dietitian and Academy Spokesperson Dee Sandquist.
The Registered Dietitian (RD) credential is a vital distinction when determining where Americans can get safe and accurate nutrition information. Registered Dietitian Day celebrates the commitment of RDs, during National Nutrition Month and throughout the year, as strong supporters of improving the nutrition and health of Americans and people all over the world.
"Science highlights nutrition as one of the leading lifestyle factors in health promotion and disease prevention throughout life. Registered dietitians translate nutrition science into practical and applicable ways for people to bring nutritious foods into their daily lives. It is our role to discern between fact and fiction and give people the tools to make realistic eating behavior changes," Sandquist says.
Registered dietitians are highly qualified food and nutrition experts who meet academic and professional requirements, including earning at least a bachelor's degree, completing a supervised practice program and passing a registration examination.
"Registered dietitians offer a wide array of professional knowledge and experience in a variety of settings from clinical to community and public policy to media communications. When consulting with an RD, people can feel confident that the nutrition information they are receiving is accurate and credible," Sandquist says.
"While the term 'nutritionist' is used frequently, it is important to remember many states do not have licensure regulations for this term so anyone can call themselves a 'nutritionist' without the appropriate qualifications.
"Look for the RD credential after the person's name to ensure that you are getting safe and science-based nutrition information," Sandquist says. Learn more about what a registered dietitian can do for you at www.eatright.org/default.aspx.
Celebrated each March, National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to focus attention on the importance of making informed food and nutrition choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Grundy County Memorial Hospital has two dietitians, Wendy Brewer, RD, LD; and Crystal Petersen, RD, LD. Dietitians at GCMH provide individual nutrition consultations and group Medical Weight Management classes. For an appointment or to sign up for a class, contact the GCMH at (319) 824-5081 or toll-free (888) 824-5081.
If you have questions about any of the GCMH services please call the hospital at 319-824-5421 or visit www.GrundyCountyHospital.org.