Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Should Personal Trainers be Doling Out Nutrition Advice?

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A recent article in the Huffington Post revealed that many personal trainers are being called on for nutrition advice by their clients. The article suggests that personal trainers should be provided with more opportunities to learn about nutrition and healthy eating. I have mixed emotions about this. Having worked in a gym in a past life I am all too aware that personal trainers sometimes (in the gym I was at it was more often than not) have very unhealthy eating habits themselves. I do think that accurate nutrition education would be useful for personal trainers (and any fitness instructors) if only for their personal benefit. However, I’m not sure that it makes sense for them to be dispensing nutrition information to their clients. On one hand I think “if they’re going to do it anyway they should at least be provided with the proper knowledge to do so”. On the other hand I think “dietitians spend years (4-5 for an undergraduate degree and internship experience to be precise) obtaining specialized education to be able to provide accurate nutrition information to their clients. Is it really realistic to expect trainers to be able to dispense this information to their clients?” Perhaps a better solution would be some combination of the two. Trainers could be provided with basic healthy eating education (for average individuals not just body builders) but they could also be provided with better connections to local dietitians. If a client is interested in nutrition then a trainer should be able to recognise when questions go beyond their level of expertise and refer their clients to a dietitian. Dietitians in turn, should be aware of physical activity options and be able to make appropriate suggestions to clients wishing to improve their physical fitness.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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