Leadership Centre

Supporting leadership capacity building within Ontario.

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Enhancing leadership competencies, facilitating thoughtful discussion and examination of leadership issues for public health professionals.

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Community Food Advisor

Promoting safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

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Community Food Advisors work in their community to improve and promote safe and healthy food selection, preparation, and storage practices.

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Nutrition Resource Centre

Credible public health nutrition at your fingertips.

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Closet Cake Eater No More

Closet Cake Eater No More
Our next #30in30 #nutritionmonth blog post is from Laura Baum, MScFN(c), RD(c), BScFN. Thank you for submitting!
 
I am tired of being asked “so are you a REALLY healthy eater” every time I tell someone I am studying dietetics. I often find myself having to explain “dietetics”, simplifying it to “foods and nutrition” after being looked at with a perplexed face.
 
“Are you a closet cake eater?” I once was asked.  NO - I love cake.  I will eat cake with anyone at any time.  People automatically think that because I am studying dietetics, I am the food police, judging their food choices.  I absolutely do not care if you bought brownies or cookies from a bake sale. For the record, there have been many times during my stressful 6 years of schooling where spoonfuls of Nutella have gone straight from the jar into my mouth.
 
 While I try to eat well and live a healthy, balanced life, I love and appreciate everything about food.  I love cooking, eating, even grocery shopping!  And yes, I am looking in your grocery cart to see what you are buying, but out of genuine interest, not judgement.  I focus on eating and enjoying everything, in moderation, combined with physical activity. 
 
I believe that the issue is that many people don’t understand what a Registered Dietitian (RD) does.  I was prompted to write this article after I was asked once too many times about what RD’s do, and thought it was an appropriate time given that this month is Nutrition Month.  The term ‘Registered Dietitian’ is a certified and protected title by the College of Dietitians of Ontario, supported and advocated for by Dietitians of Canada.  To become an RD, one must complete a 4-year undergraduate science degree, complete an accredited internship, and then pass a certification exam.
 
My undergraduate degree was much more than just ‘How to Eat Healthy 101’.  I will bet that most people do not know that to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, Honors Specialization in Foods and Nutrition, one has to complete first and second year chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, physiology, computer science, and business administration, just to name a few core courses – and achieve at least a 70% average in each.  By the end of my 4 years, I knew more medical terms and conditions than a psychology student applying to medical school.
 
To obtain a Master of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition, students do not work on ‘mastering the art of eating well’.  We learn the rules and legislations that govern public food messages, how to critically appraise research publications, how to act in a managerial foodservice administrator’s role, how to affect health changes in community settings, and, how to apply our in-depth nutrition knowledge in a clinical setting.  After the course work, students complete an intensive year of placements as dietetic interns, while also conducting research, working to have a manuscript published.
 
In a time when our population is rapidly aging; when schools are banning more and more foods due to food allergies; when diet and weight-related illnesses represent a leading cause of preventable deaths in Canada; and, when there is an alarming number of Canadian children who are overweight or obese, who will be on the front lines, creating a better world for us and our families?  Registered Dietitians – who, just for the record, eat cake too!

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