Taking charge of your nutrition health – 10 things you should know

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Taking charge of your nutrition health means knowing where to look for safe nutrition services and knowing your rights as a nutrition health consumer. Registered Dietitians (RDs) in Ontario are highly trained food and nutrition experts, translating scientific, medical and nutrition information into practical healthy meal plans and helping individuals, their families and communities to access nutrition for health. In Ontario, only members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario are regulated and authorized to use the professional title Registered Dietitian.

1. Get quality care from a Registered Dietitian. RDs have an obligation to meet the high practice standards set by the College of Dietitians of Ontario. We monitor dietitians to make sure they stay current with their skills and knowledge throughout their careers.

2. Learn more about your RD. The College of Dietitians of Ontario has an online member register where you can learn more about an RD, including whether there are any restrictions on their practice or disciplinary decisions against them. Check the Register of Dietitians to make sure your nutrition consultant is registered.

3. You’re in charge of your health. Your Registered Dietitian must have your informed consent before implementing any nutrition treatment. That means that you need to understand any treatment, its benefits, risks and alternatives before you consent. It’s up to you to decide.

4. Ask questions for clarity. You should be able to ask your dietitian anything about your nutrition health and get explanations in plain language.

5. Be open and honest. Some nutrition health issues can be sensitive. You should be able to reveal anything to your dietitian without feeling judged.

6. You have choice. Your Registered Dietitian should clearly explain nutrition treatment options to you and respect your decisions. If not, you have the freedom to seek services or a second opinion from another dietitian.
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7. Your information should stay confidential and private. With few exceptions, your health information can only be shared with the other health providers on your health care team.

8. Know what you’re paying for. All fees or billings should be clear before any nutrition treatment begins.

9. Ethical lines shouldn’t be crossed. Registered Dietitians have a duty to put your needs first. It’s up to them to maintain professional boundaries with clients and avoid anything that could cloud their judgment.

10. Complain about your care or treatment. The College of Dietitians of Ontario takes complaints seriously, and has the authority to investigate and address concerns.

Listen to this video to find out how the College of Dietitians of Ontario works to make sure you have access to safe and ethical nutrition care and visit our website at www.collegeofdietitians.org: