Better Dietitian Access May Encourage Healthy Eating
With obesity and its related health problems on the rise, easier access to dietitians may improve consumers’ nutrition understanding and their ability to make healthy dietary choices, according to Financial Education Benefits Center (FEBC), a member benefits company offering health-and-wellness resources.
“Dietary habits can be hard to break without encouragement or coaching,” acknowledged Jennifer Martinez, manager at San Ramon, Calif.-based FEBC. “Not everyone knows how to start, or even how to properly read nutrition labels. That’s where a dietitian can be helpful.”
Noting the increasing number of in-store dietitians at supermarkets, Martinez added: “The great thing about having a dietitian at a grocery store is that you’re already there to shop for food. It’s easier for you to follow through with the advice you get, and harder for you to be tempted to make unhealthy purchases.”
FEBC also recommended phone consultations with dietitians, particularly for those with mobility issues or transportation issues, pointing out that talking to consumers at home gives dietitians “a chance to discuss the dietary choices they already have in their kitchen.” Additionally, “[c]onsumers can easily fit in a dietary discussion during a lunch break, between errands, or while traveling for business.” The company offers telemedicine services that can be used for dispensing nutritional advice.