Dietitians Week (21- 27 March) is underway, and this year dietitians are asking: ‘Could seeing a dietitian improve your life?’
Throughout this year’s Dietitians Week, Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are sharing the answer to this question with their communities, encouraging community members to seek dietetic advice for nutrition help and support.
Dietitians Australia is encouraging those who are older, particularly, to seek dietetic advice to help reduce the rates of malnutrition.
A survey conducted by Dietitians Australia found that 35% of respondents felt their older friend or relative needed more support with nutrition.
Of these 1000 survey participants, 63% were also unaware of the signs of malnutrition, a preventable condition where risk increases with age, meaning that without professional support, this is likely to remain undiagnosed.
Dietitians Australia CEO, Robert Hunt explains that “early detection is key to stopping malnutrition in its tracks”, with the risk of malnutrition increasing as we age.
This, he says, can be due to several reasons, including “dental issues, impacts of medications, being socially isolated, limited finances and mobility issues”.
How can dietitians help with malnutrition?
According to Dietitians Australia, APDs offer practical and personalised nutrition advice to older Australians and can suggest other services to connect to, to help overcome these issues.
“If you experience loss of appetite, sudden weight change, are worried about your nutritional needs or want advice on how to prevent malnutrition – an Accredited Practising Dietitian is there to help,” says Mr Hunt.
To find a dietitian in your area, Mr Hunt points to the ‘Find a Dietitian’ search tool on the Dietitians Australia website.
He also encourages utilising the advice on malnutrition and how to connect with a dietitian for further information.