Navigation Links
University of Illinois professor develops tool that helps dietitians deliver info clients need and can understand
Date:7/31/2012

URBANA - If you've consulted with a nutrition educator about how best to lose weight or manage your diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, you may not have learned as much as you could have, said a University of Illinois professor of nutrition extension.

"Only 80 percent of the dietitians we surveyed did any pre-assessment of the client's nutrition literacy, which makes it difficult for educators to target their counseling so clients can understand and act on the information they are given," said Karen Chapman-Novakofski, also a registered dietitian.

Chapman-Novakofski's recent doctoral student Heather Gibbs has developed an algorithm that dietitians can use to determine precisely what knowledge and skills are required for a particular client.

"Some clients need to know how to manage their intake of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Some need to learn about portion sizes, and others have to be able to read labels. Still other clients must be able to categorize foods into groups. For each of these skills, we provide questions and exercises that assess the client's knowledge. Then dietitians will be able to better focus on what their clients need to know," she said.

Chapman-Novakofski said doctors and dietitians often don't initiate conversations that could help patients successfully manage their conditions. They may lack time or they may assume a background level of understanding that the client does not have.

"During a routine physical, your doctor may tell you that your blood pressure is high and that you need to watch your salt intake. But what does that mean to you?" she asked. "A better-case scenario would be for the doctor to ask if you can name some foods that are high in sodium. If you can't, then she knows you need to have a conversation about how to identify higher-sodium foods."

The doctor might further advise that simply avoiding added table salt is not very effective in reducing sodium intake. That's because food manufacturers add more sodium to foods before you cook them than most people could possibly add at the table.

"Until health professionals start asking questions to see what the patient knows, you don't get any effective behavior change," she said.

The researcher said that it's important sometimes for dietitians to narrow their focus. If educators understand why the client is there, think about what skills and information that person needs, and then do an evaluation to learn what the person's nutrition literacy is in that area, they can deliver the material in a way the client can understand and use, she said.

"In past years, nutrition educators have used education level to determine where to pitch their lessons. But national surveys have shown that's not a reliable indicator for a patient's health literacy, which is increasingly recognized as being important to patient care. A college graduate in an unrelated field may know very little about medical concepts," she added. If you're the one being counseled, don't be afraid to ask "how" questions, said Chapman-Novakofski.

"Make sure you know how you keep an eye on your condition. What should you keep in mind when you shop for groceries, eat out, or plan a meal? Don't be embarrassed or think everyone knows the answer but you," she said.


'/>"/>
Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
2. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
3. BGI, University of Helsinki and Wuhan University sign a MOU concerning cooperation on genomics
4. Marshall University study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer
5. University leads £6 million EU project to tackle obesity
6. A University of Tennessee professors hypothesis may be game changer for evolutionary theory
7. Life expectancy may affect when you get married, divorced, have kids: Queens University study
8. University of Toronto biologists predict extinction for organisms with poor quality genes
9. University of Minnesota invention helps advance reliability of alternative energy
10. Israel names Tel Aviv Universitys Renewable Energy Center a Center of Research Excellence
11. University of Minnesota startup offers game-changing energy solutions that reduce CO2 emissions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The ... enhanced security to access and transact across channels. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand by ... Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in his pursuit of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug designation request ... second orphan drug designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia is ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... The need for blood donations in South Texas and across the ... Texas Blood & Tissue Center, blood donations are on the decline. In fact, donations across ... down 21 percent in South Texas in the last four years alone. , There is ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... RoviSys, a ... based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on a new building in Holly ... Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment to business in the region. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: