Susan Healey from the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit says her team is trying to teach people about the work dietitians do this month.
March is Nutrition Month, an annual awareness campaign organized by Dietitians of Canada, an advocacy group representing people in the industry all over the country.
Healey, the Health Unit’s Communications Coordinator, says dietitians are important as a trustworthy source of information about the health risks and benefits of foods.
“In Ontario, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist but the title of ‘dietitian’ is protected by law, just like nurses, pharmacists or physicians,” she explains, “so if you see ‘RD’ beside a name, that person is committed to evidence-based practice.”
Healey says dietitians work in all sorts of industries, like sports science, long-term care and school settings, as well as advocating for government policies that make food more accessible to more people.
“Dietitians in public health also partner with municipalities, youth centres and groups, libraries, and other community organizations to support them with services like providing recommendations for a healthy canteen menu at a recreation facility, offering train-the-trainer sessions for food literacy programming, or working with groups to develop nutrition-related activities for their program,” Healey adds.
If you want to speak with a dietitian, Healey says you can visit the service directory on the Health Unit’s website here to find one near you.