“Nutrition advice always changes, and it gets rather confusing.”
This is the most common comment I get from clients. As frustrating as it is, most areas of nutrition recommendation has changed over the years and will continue to change. Why is this so? This is because Dietitians are evidenced based health professionals. What does it mean to have an evidence-based practice?
Dr Marita Titler wrote, in a handbook to nurses, that “Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the conscientious and judicious use of current best evidence in conjunction with clinical expertise and patient values to guide health care decisions.”
Very simply put, EBP provides thorough, safe and sensible recommendations, that healthcare workers can use, based on science and life experiences of treatment outcomes. Science and life experiences are always changing, and hence any Dietitian who uses EBP must revise their recommendations as frequently as it needs to be revised and that takes a lot of time.
On top of our daily work appointments, meetings and personal lives, we spend a considerable amount of our time on extensive research and study to be current in our areas of practice. We are not always a ‘Jack of all trades’ and may not be an expert at every area of nutrition. Therefore, we specialise in some areas and keep up with our study of areas we are not a specialist in, when we are presented with complex cases, which may include areas we do not specialise in. We are dedicated to our area(s) of practice and work tirelessly to be as thoroughly informed as possible so that we can deliver excellent service.
On behalf of all evidence-based practice (EBP) Dietitians, I wish to hope that our input is valued by all. The next time you get a recommendation that has changed, my personal advise is to keep yourself updated with the current science and experience from credible sources and that could help you with adhering to the recommendations provided. Trust your EBP Dietitian and support their expertise.