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

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.


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

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