Dietitians use nutrition principles to help people understand how food and health are related. They show people to make dietary changes, promote and keep good health, stop and address maladies and disease. Dietitians change diets to treat medical conditions, and advise people about healthy eating.

They watch over the preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, participate in research, and educate people on good nutritional practice. A dietitian may provide specific artificial nutritional needs to patients unable to eat food normally. Dietary changes to address medical issues involving dietary intake is also a major part of dietetics. The aims of the dietary department are to provide medical nutritional intervention, obtain, prepare, and serve palatable and nutritious food to patients, family members, and health care providers.

Some people may need to depart from eating a normal everyday meal:

• athletes to build extra condition for an event e.g. marathon runner

• weight loss  e.g. overweight person

• weight loss by cutting  calorie intake e.g. jockey, boxer

• pregnant (thus having to eat for baby as well)

• gain weight  e.g. underweight person

• getting over an illness

Diets have to supply sufficient quantities of fluids, roughage and energy for growth and daily needs of the individual but also have to be nutritional for proper development.  This is especially true for people on diets to lose weight. Not enough nutrition and energy intake will have a deleterious effect on well-being even though weight loss is being achieved.

Dietitians have to determine the least amount of food in terms of energy and nutritional value to keep up a healthy lifestyle, also taking into account of needs like liquid and roughage intake necessary to rid of waste products out of the system.

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