The cost of spending each year on diseases caused by wrong eating habits is increasing. In order to bring about a change in the eating behavior in high-risk groups, physicians and pharmacists, nurses, dieticians and ecotrophologists must increasingly be trained in nutritional counseling.
Because the mediation of a healthy eating behavior is usually laborious and requires the therapist in addition to technical competence and empathy. As patients often resort to automated behaviors, dietitians have to subtly break through the established patterns in their clients' thinking and actions.
Consulting competence in dietetics
In cooperation with the Association for the Promotion of Healthy Nutrition and Dietetics (VFED), the Hippocrates publishing house has recently published a practice-oriented and interdisciplinary work, which emphasizes the advisory competence in dietetics. Sven-David Müller, board member of the VFED and dietician, has brought together renowned authors who report on their experiences as the publisher of the compendium "Praxis der Diätetik und Ernährungsberatung" (Hippokrates Verlag, Stuttgart, 2000).
In addition to special diet and diet for various diseases, information on quality management in diet advice and the diet of hospitals, the book also introduces the practical nutritional advice. For example, a chapter deals with the topic of nutritional psychology and its analysis of motivations for eating and drinking.
Nutrition education important
In his contribution, Iwer Diedrichsen from the University of Hohenheim clarifies the idea of psychological diet counseling: "Nutritional psychology seeks to provide people with healthy eating and eating habits through nutrition education as early as possible in order to promote and maintain well-being, performance and vitality through a nutrition-conscious lifestyle to prevent nutrition-related diseases. "
In counseling sessions of diet therapists and patients, for example, progress in changing the eating habits can be discussed and possible relapses can be worked through. They fulfill important functions, such as the development and planning of healthy eating habits and the practice of new skills in everyday life. The nutritionist should, in the dietician's opinion, subtly address the various stages of each client's change process.
Formulate realistic goals
For example, in patients without a problem, Diedrichsen recommends asking himself as a therapist "How can I convey information in a way that makes clients feel addressed and develop awareness?". If the patient is already in the process of behavioral change, the counselor should consider how best to support him in this process.
In the opinion of Diedrichsen, however, it is always important that the goals set are realized in everyday life and that they do not overwhelm the patient. Because the readiness for longer-term behavior change can only be achieved through promising intermediate goals.