Let's Celebrate Registered Dietitian Day

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The month of March is designated each year as National Nutrition Month and sponsored by The American Dietetic Association. Registered Dietitian Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 10 this year. The purpose of the day is to help inform the public about the ways Registered Dietitians serve as the experts "who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living."

I thought this would be a great time to give a "shout out" to our wonderful Registered Dietitian, Becky Hand, and provide helpful information about the dietetics profession.

After completing my Bachelors of Science degree in food and nutrition back in 1988, I started a practical experience internship at a nearby hospital. It was during one of my community nutrition rotations that I first met SparkPeople Registered Dietitian Becky Hand. Becky was the director of the Diary and Nutrition Council, Mideast where I spent two weeks learning how to share the message of good nutrition to the public. Anyone that has heard Becky speak at one of our Spark Your Life Conventions will likely agree that Becky has an infectious way of getting people excited about healthy eating. She had the same energy, excitement and enthusiasm back in the spring of 1989 as well. Whether she was talking to schoolchildren or answering questions for the local news station, Becky has always been able to capture her audience while sharing a basic nutritional truth or strategy for weight management success.

Registered Dietitians work in a variety of settings to provide nutrition education and assist with medical nutritional therapy where necessary. A process is required to ensure Registered Dietitian's are qualified to serve as experts in the field of food and nutrition. Those eligible for registration must:

  • have a minimum of a bachelor's degree (although many RD's have advanced degrees) from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association. Bachelor programs include a variety of study in subjects ranging from food and nutrition science, foodservice systems management, business courses, written and spoken communication to chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology.
  • complete a CADE-accredited supervised practice program. Practice programs or internships may be combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Most commonly, a post graduation practice program internship must be applied for and accepted into and typically runs between six and twelve months in length covering experiences in health-care, food service and community nutrition.
  • pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic registration (CDR) after successful completion of the supervised practice program.
  • continue professional education (75 hours every five years) to maintain registration status.
In addition to RD credentials, many states also have regulatory laws such as licensure for nutritional professionals as well. Some states do refer to their Registered Dietitians as Nutritionists, but it is important to note that not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. It is important to ask about someone's credentials that you are working with when they refer to themselves as nutritionists since the definition and requirements for the term vary state to state.

Registered Dietitians like Becky are the best source of practical, affordable, and accurate nutrition information and are committed to helping people enjoy healthy lives. If you or someone in your family believes you could benefit from personal education and intervention from a Registered Dietitian in your area, go to www.eatright.org and click on the "Find a Registered Dietitian" link in the upper right hand corner.

Thank you Becky for serving as an inspirational SparkPeople Registered Dietitian but also for being a mentor for me and many other professionals that you have inspired during your career.

Have you or someone in your family ever worked directly with a Registered Dietitian?

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Becky gives the very best approach to healthy eating.. Thank you so much for your fine service Report
Yay for Becky, and all the other RD's out there!

I have visited one, but it was mainly because I was there to support my mother. She was ordered to visit one by her doctor and felt very apprehensive to I went with her, for support. Even though it wasn't my visit, I learned a lot from her class, many things I have applied to my own life. Report
When I first started on this journey, I did have several meetings with the nutritionist at my gym (Lifetime Fitness). Kira was very knowledgeable and helped me to set up my food pyramid so I ate not just the right # of calories but also the right combinations so I ate healthy.
Since then I read all the articles I can and I can probably tell more about nutrition than some of the pros, thanks to all the great information on Spark. Report
No Becky, I haven't. Got so many other problems, I can't afford one. Although my body could sure use one. This has been a dream of mine all my life. Report
Becky gave me advice on how to become a Registered Dietician about a year ago, and I am proud to say I am currently enrolled in a DPD program at the U of MN! Thanks SP Becky!!! Report
I've been given very valuable and practical information the dietitian at my base hospital. If not for her, I wouldn't have become part of the SP community. We appreciate all you do & the wealth of knowledge you've opened up for many of us. Many thanks to you Becky & your fellow RD's! Report
I have, actually that is how i found out what spark people was. Report
Uh, congrats to Becky. Now can we have a day for computer technicians overwhelmed by the technologically illiterate? 'Cuz I'm getting tired of scraping porn and music download virii out of people's systems. Report
Three cheers to Becky Hand! Yes, I've worked with a registered dietitian before and I think they are awesome -- at least I think Becky is, and I think the young lady I worked with was. I'm diabetic and she helped me a great deal! Thanks, Becky, for all you do for us! Report
So maybe "Becky was the director of the Diary and Nutrition Council, Mideast" wasn't a typo for "DAIRY and Nutrition Council"? :) , food diaries being an integral part of their job? Report
When Becky's name is on an article I know I'll read solid information! Thanks for the help you give so many by sharing your knowledge.

Yes, I've been to an R.D. ...
In March of 2007 I met with my RD for the first time as THE main component of getting back to health after months of illness.
During that first visit, my Registered Dietician took out a piece of paper and while telling me that part of awareness includes writing down everything I ate, she wrote on the paper. As she handed it to me, she said that I should check out the computer site "SparkPeople.com" which she'd written down...because starting with the food diary this site would give me solid grounding for my goals.

I checked out the site for a few weeks and then joined.
My 4th year anniversary is in a few weeks.
My visits to my RD are no longer as frequent, but without her guidance in tailoring my food proportions to my needs, I would have been merely guessing. Even my oncologist told me the best advice for healthy eating would be from an RD!

Thanks Becky; your work here on the SP team grounds us. All we have to do is... 'listen' when you 'speak'! Report
Thanks Becky for all the help and advise you give us. Report
Happy Registered Dietitian's Day!
Thanks for all you do! Report
I have assisted in interpreting for RD in hospital setting and there have been a couple of very over weight RD that are 'educating' diabetic patients about portions, food groups and calorie intake. What is your opinion about presenting yourself as a RD but may appear like you do not follow your own advice so to speak? Report
I love my dietitian! Paulina was more helpful than my physician when it came to losing weight. She had many practical suggestions. And she's a personal trainer to boot! Wish I could have seen her for fitness consult but I couldn't afford it. Fortunately, my insurance plan covered my dietitian visits. Way to go Becky! Report
Thanks Becky for all you do. It was a pleasure to have you entertain us in Cincy this past year. Report
I got to hear Becky speak at the San Diego convention, and she was definitely the speaker that I took the most from!!! Thank you Becky!!!!!! Report
Yes, I worked with a registered dietitian when I developed gestational diabeties. I was able to control the diabeties with diet and didn't have to have insulin. Report
No- but we are interested in doing so and will use the info in this blog to find one to work with--Thank you. Report
Thank you Becky! Happy Registered Dietitian Day! Report
Thanks Becky!! Report
Thanks Becky!! Report
Thanks Becky!! Report
Good job. You deserve a star. Report
I want to send a shout out to Coach Becky for all the great dietary advice she dispenses each day too !!

Thanks for everything you do here Becky! Report
It is great to know that we have someone like Becky on our team! Report
Becky is great! She is so helpful here and also on Babyfit. :)
One of my best friends is a dietitian. Report
No, I have not worked with a RD but thanks to Becky for answering many of my questions. I appreciate her! Report
Yes for my DH Report
Thank God for dietitians and for their willingness to teach us how to make healthier choices. Happy Dietitian's Day, Becky! Report
Thanks, Becky, for helping all of us here at Spark People!!! Thanks, Tanya, for the info. !!! Report
RD's are a wonderful, credible resource. It is important to find reliable resources in order to interpret the vast amount of nutrition information out there. Cudos to Sparkpeople for having such a great dietitian on staff! Report
Thanks for the info. Report
Thank you for the information! Report
Thank you Becky for what you do here for all of us. I have a wonderful dietitian that I work with through Kaiser. I go to see him every week. He is the one that pointed me here to Spark People. I couldn't have lost this first 10 lbs without him and SP! Report
I worked with a registered dietitian when I was diagnosed with diabetes seven years ago, and had a meeting with another one to learn about diabetes education the last time I was hospitalized in November. Both meetings were very beneficial. The RD at the hospital gave me information about the latest ways to eat and keep my blood sugar in control, and taught me about the counting carbs method. I know know about how many carbs I should be consuming per day and per meal, and the information was invaluable.

Happy RD Day to Becky and all of the RDs out there, I think it's wonderful that you spotlighted these very important people! Report
My local Hy-Vee grocery store has one on staff. I had her figure my resting metabolism rate and she then helped me figure out how many calories I should be consuming based on how much excercise I was doing and how much I wanted to lose per week. The number of calories she came up with was the top end of what SP had for me on my calorie tracker :) Report
last May after my husband's heart attack and triple by-pass open heart surgery , we both worked with a registered dietitian. She met with us at the beginning and set out a plan - low sodium, low cholesterol. I thought it was going to be hard but she reassured me and gave me tons of help in the recipe department. Shopping was difficult but she was there at our beck and call for any information we needed. Cudos to her. Report
Thanks for the great links! I have always, always appreciated the things that Becky Hand writes for Spark People.

Keep on rockin' it! Report
I work in a school cafeteria, my supervisor is a RD. She is very helpful!! Report
Good blog. Thanks Report
Yes, I work in a Long Term Care Facility and she's here all of the time. Report
Happy Dietician's Day.
I have not worked with a dietician, but I think they provide an important service to us, as doctors rarely study nutrition. So much of our health issues are related to how we eat and take care of our bodies. Report
Becky, I've been reading your SparkPeople articles for over a year now... and never took the time out to thank you. *T*H*A*N*K* *Y*O*U* for all of your invaluable FREE *awakenings* to living a healthy lifestyle!! You've helped to change the way I just accepted *healthy* which was a vague thought, because I never really took any lessons until I came *here* sooo... today, I am a much healthier person!! :) The BEST to YOU & YOURS!! Report
Previously I had opportunity to email Becky with a question, and her advice and feedback was useful, helpful, and something I still refer to.
Thanks for all your hard work! Report
I went to see a Dietitian when I was diagnosed with diabetes, gout and high cholesterol. Report
I have learned so much from you Becky and am very thankful you are a part of our SPARK FAMILY. Thank you!! Your the only Dietician I know. Report
Even though I lost quite a bit of weight working with a dietician, I realize now that the approach of limiting and restricting food to lose weight was missing the fundamental ingredient that SP has - which is making and embracing the connection between food and health. Many of the tools I learned from the dietician I still use, but "being on a diet" is not a sustainable approach. Thank you SP for helping me to see the bigger picture! Report