On Registered Dietitian Day and Every Day, RDs Celebrated as Leaders in Improving America's Health
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CHICAGO – March is National Nutrition Month®, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates the contributions and expertise of registered dietitians as the food and nutrition experts.
“March 13 marks the sixth annual Registered Dietitian Day, a day when we recognize the important work of RDs in improving the public health through food and nutrition,” says registered dietitian and Academy Spokesperson Melinda Johnson.
The RD credential is vital when determining who is the best source of safe and accurate nutrition information.
“Scientific research highlights nutrition as one of the leading lifestyle factors in health promotion and disease prevention throughout life,” Johnson says.
“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.”
Registered dietitians meet stringent academic and professional requirements, including earning at least a bachelor’s degree, completing a supervised practice program and passing a registration examination. RDs must also complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. More than half of all RDs have also earned master’s degrees or higher.
The majority of registered dietitians work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, as part of medical teams), often in hospitals, HMOs, private practice or other health care facilities. In addition, RDs work in community and public health settings and academia and research. RDs work with food and nutrition industry and business, journalism, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs and other work settings.
“Registered dietitians’ expertise in nutrition and health is more extensive than any other health profession and has been recognized as such by Congress as well as federal health agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” Johnson says.
“Numerous scientific studies over many years, including studies mandated by Congress, have shown that medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian can lower health costs, decrease hospital stays and improve people’s health,” Johnson says. “Besides being the designated providers under federal law of medical nutrition therapy for Medicare beneficiaries, registered dietitians are the preferred providers of nutrition care and services in many private-sector insurance plans.”
Learn more about what a registered dietitian can do for you and find a registered dietitian in your area at www.eatright.org/RD.
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.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.