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 expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
A registered dietitian nutritionist, or RDN, serves as an important liaison in helping individuals and communities make changes towards creating healthier lives through food and nutrition. Here are ways registered dietitian nutritionists can improve the health of Americans and save health-care dollars.
- You have prediabetes and want to stave off diabetes. A registered dietitian nutritionist can change your life by teaching you skills that will help you lose and keep off weight, and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
- Your community has high levels of obesity. Working with public health, government, school and other local leaders, a registered dietitian nutritionist can work to create wellness programs that promote healthful eating and physical activity for everyone.
- You are a marketing manager for a large food company and know consumers' preference for food that tastes good and is healthy. A registered dietitian nutritionist can make the connection and work with your food scientists to develop new products that will be successful in the marketplace.
- You want to improve your performance in sports. Helping you set goals to achieve results, a registered dietitian nutritionist can assist you whether you're running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.
- You have had gastric bypass surgery. Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it's a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. A registered dietitian nutritionist will work with you to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
- You realize you need to feed your family healthier foods, but you do not cook. A registered dietitian nutritionist can teach you how to cook in a simple, convenient way.
- Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. Assisting with overweight issues or in the multidisciplinary treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, a registered dietitian nutritionist can work with you and your family.
- Your community wants more local foods to be available. Not only can a registered dietitian nutritionist lead efforts to make sure foods are healthy, but RDNs also can help to make sure these foods will positively affect the local economy.
- You just had your first child and are concerned the baby is not eating enough, as well as need help and confidence for breast-feeding. A registered dietitian nutritionist can provide guidance and assurance that you and your infant are getting enough of the nutrients you both need.
- Your mother, who is increasing in age, needs assistance with meals. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help by leading a local congregate dining and home delivered meals program.