by: Kristen Hicks MS, RD, LD, PhD Student

Visiting with your doctor is essential to making sure that you are receiving the best care. Why? Your doctor is responsible for ordering labs, determining physical activity capabilities and diagnosing health conditions. According to Healthy People 2020 objectives, your doctor is recommended to increase the proportion of office visits that include nutrition counseling or education related to nutrition or weight. However, their opportunities are limited due to time, knowledge and billing restrictions preventing them from fully educating you on your health problems.  For these reasons, more recently collaborative healthcare system has been adopted among practices, worksites and hospitals. A recent study demonstrated that patients receiving counseling by a combination of doctors and registered dietitians resulted in significant reductions in BMI percentile compared to usual care or by doctors alone (Resnicow et al., Pediatrics, 2015). Doctors are a critical component to the team, however, they are utilized to diagnose your conditions and ensure your safety.

On the flip side of the coin, your dietitian at Family Food is there to learn about your diagnoses and abnormal lab values to provide the most individualized nutrition counseling session. Depending on your doctor’s diagnoses, we will tailor our nutrition recommendations to ensure that your health outcomes are improving such as hemoglobin A1C, cholesterol and weight status. Seven of the 10 leading causes of death can be partially attributed to lifestyle choices such as poor diet, physical inactivity, stress, alcohol intake and tobacco use. Recent statistics explain that approximately 20% of cancer diagnoses are related to individuals being overweight or obese. Increasing statistics are a serious health concern to you, yet with individualized nutrition counseling from Family Food dietitians, we aim to manage or treat your conditions by improving lifestyle habits. Research shows that Medical Nutrition Therapy provided long term (6-12 months) yielded significant weight loss and maintenance beyond one year (AND, 2016).

Collaboration among doctors and registered dietitians provides the landscape for making the best improvements to your diet and lifestyle for optimal health. It is recommended to see your primary care physician at minimum of one time per year for your annual physical. Remember, doctors are a critical component of the healthcare team they provide accurate diagnoses based on lab values, symptoms and physical signs. The other member of the healthcare team, Registered Dietitians, can then utilize this information to provide YOU with the most individualized nutrition counseling to manage and improve your conditions. Discuss with your insurance about your benefits for Medical Nutrition Therapy with a Registered Dietitian to get your health on track today.

Collaborative Healthcare: Doctors and Dietitians Working Together to Improve Your Health

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