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Health Coaching: 3 Reasons Registered Dietitians are Perfect for the Job

Posted Apr 18 2013 12:00am
When we conduct a large health screening , it's not uncommon for several participants to discover that they have a chronic health condition -- high blood pressure , high cholesterol , or abnormal glucose levels . It's why onsite screenings are so important: they truly can save lives.

I want employees to leave our screenings with a full understanding of what their numbers mean and how to improve them. We always recommend offering health education at onsite screenings, and we believe that registered dietitians make the best health educators.

Why are RDs your best bet for health coaching? Three reasons
  • Registered dietitians are clinical experts. In addition to their graduate coursework, RDs spend at least one year in a clinical setting providing nutritional therapy to people with chronic illnesses. They are absolutely qualified to address body composition, cholesterol, and glucose results from a clinical perspective.
  • Registered dietitians are nutrition experts. We all know that nutrition plays a vital role in managing the most common chronic health conditions. Who better to take on these issues than someone with advanced nutrition training?
  • Registered dietitians are health coaching experts. The RDs who perform health education for WCS have additional certifications in fitness, coaching, and the latest motivational interviewing techniques. They know how to talk to people about where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there -- without judgment.

Let me offer some advice as you investigate coaching options: Nurses aren't normally trained in lifestyle coaching. If you're interested in lasting behavior change, insist on credentialed health coaches. Also beware of squishy terms like "wellness coach" or "nutritionist" that lack meaning. Instead, ask the hard questions about coaches' qualifications and experience. Your employees deserve it!


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