What is dietetics


Dietetics refers to the therapy that advises about nutrition, diet, allergies, malnutrition, feeding, eating disorders, food in relation to health and management of nutrition related diseases.



Dietetics, which is carried out by dietitians, translates up-to-date nutrition research into practical information to empower individuals to improve their health, wellbeing and weight.


What role does a dietitian play in a multidisciplinary eating disorder service?

Our dietitian’s role is to assess the person with the eating disorders diet and nutritional intake, and use objective measurements of weight and height (if appropriate) to ensure they are growing and developing at the optimum level.

Our dietitian will work alongside the mental health nurse and psychologist within the multidisciplinary eating disorder service by conducting nutritional assessments and providing appropriate dietetic treatment. The dietitian will help set small weight gain

goals (if necessary) to ensure the young person is healthy while on their road to recovery.

When would a child or young person benefit from seeing The Bridge dietitian?

The majority of patients with an eating disorder would benefit from seeing The Bridge dietitian due to behaviours that the person will have been following; the severe restriction of food causes nutritional and energy deficiencies, purging causes the depletion of nutrients and binging causes weight gain and the risk factors associated with heart disease.

How does a dietitian help a child or young person with an eating disorder?

Our dietitian will ensure that the person with the eating disorder is consuming an adequate diet to reduce nutritional deficiencies. This can be extremely difficult if the person is still in the early stages of recovery and is still showing signs of restrictive or unhealthy eating behaviours. However, the dietitian will set small and achievable calorie and weight goals to ensure it's at a pace the person is ready for.

What does a dietetic assessment involve?

The dietetic assessment will involve taking a weight, height, diet history and assessing the person's risk of malnutrition. During the assessment the dietitian will need to discuss the types of foods the person eats and in what quantities, although we know this is difficult for a person with an eating disorder, it can help develop a plan which is patient focussed and enables recovery. The dietitian will help develop a treatment plan alongside the mental health nurse and psychologist which aims to fulfill the patient’s goals.

Summary

Our dietitians here at The Bridge are experienced in knowledge and possess attributes in empathy and understanding to enable people with eating disorders to recover in the best way for them, while ensuring they are at a healthy weight and nutritional intake.

Our team can help you to live a normal and healthy life outside of your treatment. We always work with you at the centre of our service, and treatment will be at a pace to suit you. If you want help with any of the issues discussed then please discuss with your parent or carer if required, or contact us.

Are you worried about a loved one?

If you're worried that someone close to you has an eating disorder, get in touch with us. We encourage that you talk with your loved one to see if they recognise or understand their eating behaviours.

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Do you need help yourself?

The first step to recovery takes courage, openness and honesty. Recognising that you need help with an eating disorder is a substantial achievement.

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All our therapists are here to listen to you and offer support so that we can decide the best treatment plan for you.

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