In Wake of New Diabetes Risk Study, Academy Highlights Value of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Reducing Risk, Providing Treatment

Released: 14-Aug-2014 11:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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Citations The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

Newswise — CHICAGO – A new study indicates that Americans have approximately a 40 percent risk of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Nutrition counseling provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist can help reduce the risk of diabetes and its related health problems through lifestyle and dietary changes, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"Health professionals are in agreement that nutrition services are one of the first treatments individuals should receive to improve conditions such as diabetes and its related complications," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Angela Ginn.

The study, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, says: "Continued increases in the incidence of diagnosed diabetes combined with declining mortality have led to an acceleration of lifetime risk and more years spent with diabetes, but fewer years lost to the disease for the average individual with diabetes. These findings mean that there will be a continued need for health services and extensive costs to manage the disease, and emphasize the need for effective interventions to reduce incidence."

"Research has shown that weight loss through moderate diet changes and physical activity plays a significant role in reducing a person’s risk of diabetes and its complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems. A registered dietitian nutritionist is one of your best resources for developing a plan to make these lifestyle changes," said Ginn, who is also a certified diabetes educator.

"For those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, an RDN can create an eating plan tailored just for you, taking into account your weight, medicines, lifestyle and other health problems you may have. The expert advice of an RDN can help you manage your diabetes while ensuring you get the nutrients your body needs."

RDNs often work as part of a medical team, in many practice settings, such as hospitals, physician offices, private practice and other health care facilities, and medical nutrition therapy provided by an RDN is covered by numerous insurance plans including Medicare Part B.

"Check with your insurance plan for specific medical nutrition therapy coverage details. Your plan may cover nutrition counseling for chronic conditions and health concerns like diabetes and prediabetes. Together with a registered dietitian nutritionist, you can set nutrition goals to improve your health," Ginn said.

"Ask your doctor if a referral for medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist is right for you. With a physician's referral, you can make an appointment to see the RDN at your local hospital outpatient department, physician clinic or at an RDN's practice near your home."

For help developing a healthful eating plan, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.

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All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy's Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use "registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org


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