The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes March 9, 2016 as Registered Dietitian Day. This event, started in 2008, was created to increase the awareness of the vital part registered dietitians provide for patients regarding food and nutrition services and to recognize RDs for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.
The importance of the registered dietitian is extremely evident in the area of Eating Disorder treatment.
“Dietitians are an essential part of our program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital” says Sandy Blaies, Eating Disorders program supervisor. “Eating disorders have both psychological and physiological elements and require treatment providers with expertise in both.
“The extreme dieting behaviors, severe weight loss and symptoms of semi-starvation, binge-eating behaviors, and the patient’s distorted beliefs about nutrition and dietary requirements all support the need for the expertise provided by dietitians.”
“Dietitians have an essential role within the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment programs for all three major eating disorders.”
The main aim is to provide sound nutritional knowledge for the patient, the caregivers and other members of the treatment team. The focus of treatment should be on the establishment of a balanced dietary intake which will restore nutritional status and body weight.
Ann Sprenger, RD, a registered dietitian in the Aurora Psychiatric Hospital Eating Disorder Program describes how she works with patients. “I meet with every patient to provide nutrition information, describe how nutrition affects their mental and physical health, and to develop a diet plan in partnership with the patient.
“We monitor food intake every day and identify barriers to healthy eating habits. It is important for the patients to practice healthy eating habits while in the treatment program.”
Dr. Dinshah Gagrat, MD is the Medical Director of the Aurora Psychiatric Hospital Eating Disorder Program. “Professionals who treat patients with an eating disorder need to have knowledge of the nutritional effects and physiological consequences of the illness. This is rare within a predominantly mental health setting and this is the importance of including a registered dietitian in the treatment team.”
How do registered dietitians help people live well? Check out the top 10 ways from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing an eating disorder please contact us at 877-666-7223 or visit our web site at Aurora Behavioral Health Services or check out these resources:
- Signs of an eating disorder
- Eating Disorder screening tool
- Eating Disorder Treatment
- What Primary Care Physicians should know about eating disorders
- Using Art Therapy in treatment of eating disorders
- Media and Body Image
- The Maudsley approach to treating eating disorders
- Someone I know may have an eating disorder, what do I say?