CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
The practice of good nutrition habits would help eliminate many health prob-lems caused by malnutrition (Figure 1-4). The health professional is obligated to have a sound knowledge of nutrition. One’s personal health, as well as that of one’s family, depends on it. Parents must have a good, basic knowledge of nutrition for the sake of their personal health and that of their children. Chil-dren learn by imitating their parents. Family members and friends who know that the health professional has studied nutrition will ask questions. Anyone, in fact, who plans and prepares meals should value, have knowledge of, and be able to apply the principles of sound nutrition practice.
Clients will have questions and complaints about their diets. Their anxi-eties can be relieved by clear and simple explanations provided by the health professional. Sometimes clients must undergo diet therapy, prescribed by their physicians, which becomes part of their medical treatment in the hospital. The health professional must be able to check the client’s tray quickly to see that it contains the correct foods for the diet prescribed. In many cases, diet therapy will have to be a lifelong practice for the client. In such cases, eating habits will have to be changed, and the client will need advice or instructions from a registered dietitian and support from other health professionals.
Nutrition is currently a popular subject. It is important to recognize that some books and articles concerning nutrition may not be scientifically correct. Also, food ads can be misleading. People with knowledge of sound nutrition practices will be less likely to be misled. They will recognize fad and distinguish it from fact.