Thursday, December 15, 2011

Resources for Dietitians

With the abundance of information on food and nutrition available both in print and online, it has become increasingly more difficult for nutrition professionals in general - and dietitians in particular - to stay up to date on current research. At the same time, it is essential for today’s dietitians to know where and how to access available resources so that they can find the information they may not have committed to memory. In other words, being a successful and knowledgeable dietitian has evolved from a measurement of “how much information you know” to “how much information you can find.”
In my current rotation at the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC), I am discovering the plethora of resources available, often for free, to nutrition professionals through FNIC’s website. FNIC is “a leader in on-line global nutrition information.” Through their website you can access over 2,500 links to “current and reliable nutrition information.” 
One feature on FNIC’s website that, in my opinion, should be turned into a smart phone app and used by every clinical dietitian is the “Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals”: This tool quickly calculates macro- and micronutrient needs based on the current dietary reference intakes (DRIs). There’s no shame in utilizing tools like these to save time during clinical nutrition assessments and calculations. is another time saver for dietitians. Making educational handouts can be fun, but for the dietitian whose job it is to help patients, there are better ways to spend that time. RD411 provides evidence-based practice tools that can help nutrition professionals enhance the services they provide. These tools offer information on the latest products, based on the current scientific information available, and resources that can be used both for professional development and to educate a client or the public. It is no longer necessary for nutrition professionals to “reinvent the wheel” by designing from scratch every educational handout, in-service or treatment protocol.
I’ve mentioned only a few of my favorite sites for finding nutrition resources. Please feel free to comment about resources I’ve missed.

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