Diet and Weight Loss

Want to Learn to Eat Right? Work with a Dietitian

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Summary & Participants

Eating a healthy diet is hard work. That's why people get help from registered dietitians who are part diet detective and part counselor. Learn how they can help you eat right.

Medically Reviewed On: July 21, 2012

Webcast Transcript

ANNOUNCER: Eating right is a good idea for everyone. But changing your eating habits can be a daunting task. That's why people call on nutritional counselors.

BONNIE TAUB-DIX, MA, RD: Who needs nutritional advice? Who doesn't need nutritional advice? You know, unfortunately, a lot of people wait until something is wrong to consult with a registered dietitian. And not that that's too late, but why wait until then?

ANNOUNCER: Registered dietitians can help people get it right. And it's not just for people interested in losing weight.

BONNIE TAUB-DIX, MA, RD: There are many people who are struggling to gain weight and just find it very difficult to do so, either because they have a very active metabolism or because they themselves are very active.

Then there are those that are overweight, but who have many other problems or chronic illnesses that go along with it, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

But so many women come to see me at the beginning of their pregnancy just because they want to be sure they're doing the right thing.

Athletes frequently consult registered dietitians, because they have tremendous demand for calories.

ANNOUNCER: Parents can also seek help for their children.

BONNIE TAUB-DIX, MA, RD: Many of the children that are brought to see registered dietitians have weight issues, because nowadays, there is an epidemic of diabetes, actually, in the population of children, due to all the obesity that we see. So that could be one reason.

Another reason may be that a child's not eating enough or not eating well. And then, sometimes, children do have illnesses: Crohn's disease, digestive issues, diabetes, hypertension.

ANNOUNCER: Dietitians are part detective and part psychologist.

BONNIE TAUB-DIX, MA, RD: We look for foods that may be missing, foods that may be in excess. Sometimes, people have a tendency to give you a dietary recall, "Oh, no, I never have any snacks," and then, you might look at the food diary and see, "Well, what happened here at 3:00? What about 10:30 in the morning? What about at midnight?

When a dietitian looks at a food diary, we look for hot spots. Initially, I would glance at the food diary looking for "Does this person have enough calcium in their diet? Are they getting any fruits and vegetables? Do they have enough fiber in their diet? Do they have enough protein in their diet? What about the carbohydrates?

I look for food fads, I look for misconceptions. Very often, from a food diary, I can actually tell the kind of misconceptions that someone may have about diet. If I see everything is fat-free, fat-free, fat-free, and then all of a sudden, you know, something in there that's loaded with fat, I wonder what went on there.

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