Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Call in the food police, we’ve got another unruly body

2 Comments

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I feel the need to expand on something I touched on in my post last week. It’s related to people judging dietitians on the basis of our weight. My previous post mainly discussed why it’s inappropriate to judge anyone’s professional abilities, including dietitians, on the basis of their perceived size. However, I think this all too common judgement also speaks to the lack of understanding of what we do.

There’s a common (mis)perception that dietitians are all weight loss counsellors. As a result, if we don’t have that elusive “perfect body” people think that we suck at our jobs. After all, what else do we do other than police the food people put into their mouths. If we can’t control the food going into our own mouths, how on earth can we possibly control the food going into the mouths of all the other owners of “unruly” bodies. While some dietitians certainly do work in weight management, even those dietitians are not actually food police. The majority of dietitians don’t work in weight management. Curious what a dietitian actually does, check out this old post.

It is not part of my job to control my body so that it fits your perceived notion of healthy and fit. Whether or not I am large has no bearing on my knowledge of nutrition. It does not impede my ability to calculate a tube feed, modify a recipe, expound on celiac disease, or help someone with diabetes manage their blood sugar. Just as being small and having no knowledge of nutrition does not automatically imbue me with the capacity to do these things. As with any profession, the size of a dietitian is not a reflection of their knowledge, experience, or capability.

Dietitians do So Much More than help people lose weight. Despite the impression that our name gives, we are not all about putting people on diets. For many of us, aside from medically necessary diets (for example in the case of allergy sufferers or those with celiac disease) “diet” is a four letter word. We’re not all on a mission to rein in unruly bodies and create a world populated solely by thin bodies. When we do work in positions of counsel we usually aim to help people to gain greater compassion for, and appreciation of their own bodies. To help people view food as a source of pleasure rather than an enemy out to destroy our hard-fought-for chiselled physiques.

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.

2 thoughts on “Call in the food police, we’ve got another unruly body

  1. I feel your pain. Being a size 2 myself, as soon as I meet a patient they automatically believe I’m Lucy and will take away their Charlie Brown football. I’ve heard it said, “Oh gosh, here comes the food police,” more than once. :) Anything is fine in moderation – I simply explain “what moderation means to you.”

    Health is more important than weight loss, we are all individual with a unique DNA so there is no “one size fits all” health plan and I don’t have to have had cancer to know how to prevent it. I guess I just like myself better when I feel healthy and energetic. Everyone has to feel their best self to honor God. It’s so great to realize that it’s better than feeling sick and tired all the time. Thanks for this post,

    Liked by 1 person

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