The dietician should be:
- Planning food and nutrition programmes
- Supervising meal preparations in schools and hospitals
- Recommending dietary modifications
- Educating patients on diets that may help their condition
- Working with other healthcare professionals to provide a multidisciplinary healthcare approach
- Informing on the severity of illness and complications of treatments, inclusive of the benefits and burdens of feeding in all conceivable routes.
- Active in the patients care as the dietitian reporting on the nutritional status of the patient, as well as, the advisor to the physician and medicinal team, and
- Informing the legal decisions that may help determine the route of care for the patient, such as more aggressive or palliative care.
Dietetics is the science and art of feeding individuals based on the principles of nutrition. It can also be said to be the “science and art of human nutritional care.” Diet therapy and its application in patient related settings is a major focus of dietetics. Thus, the field of dietetics can be related to: (a) nutrition care and intervention focused on the individual and (b) nutrition care and intervention focused on the group.
Diet plays a major role in promotion of health and well being of individual. A good and balanced diet habit improves the quality of life while poor diet may lead to morbidity and diseases. Nutritionists and dietetics are concerned with this aspect. While dietetics is related to food management, nutrition is related to promotion of health. Due to changes in food habits of most of the urban population, role of nutritionists and dieticians is becoming more important. They suggest corrective food habits considering various aspects of an individual such as age, work routine and sickness etc. and thereby improving their quality of life. They also educate their clients about preparation of food according to the principles of nutrition. They know about food production and processing, psychological factors influencing food choice, digestion and its effects on nutritional aspects. A growing and aging population will increase the demand for meals and nutritional counseling in nursing homes, schools, prisons, community health programmes, and home health care agencies.