A couple of bad reviews on Yelp can put a restaurant out of business. It’s called a reputation crisis. Registered dietitians (RDs) face a reputation crisis due to the actions of their parent organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). AND is being called out for having close ties to the food industry. For their nutrition conferences and events, AND accepts sponsorship from big food and beverage corporations. Sponsorship gives the appearance of conflict of interest, and in reputation management, perception is everything.
It started last October when lawyer/author Michele Simon released a report, “And Now a Word from Our Sponsors.” She called out AND for having close ties to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Mars, and the like because those companies sponsor their continuing education activities. Soon, celebrity nutritionists like Marion Nestle and Dr. Mercola were writing about “How the Junk Food Industry Controls Registered Dietitians.” And then, this month, another incident made the New York Times, Food Politics Creates Rift in Panel on Labeling. More negative press. I fear AND has sullied my unblemished reputation.
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Based on the idea that a high fiber diet promotes nutrition and weight loss without hunger, F-Factor seems like a reasonable diet approach. The creator of the program, Tanya Zuckerbrot, is a registered dietitian who offers her clients 10 one-on-one counseling sessions as part of F-Factor, and it’s generating a lot of buzz.
With high profile clients like former CNBC host Donny Deutsch and current Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, the F-Factor diet plan has gained notoriety in recent months as being a viable weight loss option. The catch? This program will cost you $10,000 if you want the customized version.
For that hefty price tag, clients receive those ten personal sessions as well as an in-depth consultation and education process about weight loss and nutrition. Zuckerbrot also goes over the diet plan with her clients during this initial session, reminding them about the high intake of fiber the diet requires. If clients are interested, they can pay an additional $1,500 each for a supermarket tour and refrigerator and pantry makeover. The high cost of the program begs the question of whether or not F-Factor is worth it, though.
Our resident nutrition expert and registered dietitian Mary Hartley isn’t convinced.
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Dietitians are some of the most unsung heroes in our country, and today we get to celebrate them. National Registered Dietitian (RD) Day is every March 13, an event organized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics now in its sixth year.
These men and women are tasked with the vitally important job of keeping our country healthy and well, something many of us turn a blind eye, too. Dietitians go through extensive training and achieve a level of expertise that gives them the ability to translate vast nutritional science in to something consumable and understandable for the general public. Their extensive education can often involve multiple degrees and highly coveted internships with major hospitals and universities where practical study gives them an even broader knowledge base.
And the reality of the job isn’t as specific as you might think. Dietitians work one on one with clients (or patients) in a clinical setting, but they also work in schools, health clubs, doctor’s offices and hospitals, in the food industry for food producers and restaurants, and much more.
You’ll even find them on Twitter disseminating health and nutrition information and working hard to keep Americans healthy 140 characters at a time.
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The American Council on Exercise (ACE) conducted a survey and discovered that for most fitness professionals, this career was not their first job. Many had pursued other avenues only to find that the fitness industry was where their true passions lied. It assumed that many find their love for fitness later in life. Many in the business will tell you that since they were devoting the hours of a full time job to their own fitness, they decided they might enjoy getting paid along the way.
“I was in banking for 15 years before making the leap to personal training full time,” said Pamela Hernandeez, a personal trainer at ThriveFit.com. “In 2009, when the financial services industry collapsed, I was fortunate not lose my job but a lot of people I worked with did. It made me step back and realize how much I had come to dislike my job.”
She kept both jobs for a while as she she pursued her ACSM CPT fitness certifications and to ensure her passion and the clients would be there to pay the bills. As a banker, she says she hated what she was doing and how it didn’t offer any real value for people’s lives. With a full-time fitness career, she gets to make a huge impact on the lives of others. “I knew I had found my calling. I was able to quit my banking career in June 2011. I have never looked back!”
Sound like you?
Some of the most popular careers in the fitness industry include health coach, personal trainer, dietitian, spin instructor, and Zumba instructor. Before you consider taking one of these paths this year, learn more about what each profession entails.
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It’s Christmas time, when we think of others and how we can show our love through tokens of appreciation. Before going broke buying presents, however, save a little bit for yourself to spend on something that could do a world of good in your life by providing a bevy of health benefits. From getting off medications to finding a surefire way to cope with stress, these gifts promise more than momentary satisfaction, they may just inspire a completely new lifestyle.
1. Hire a Personal Trainer
Sometimes, the choice to workout comes down to accountability. When exercising with a friend isn’t cutting it, hiring a trainer can be a great choice. They know what moves to do, how many need to be done to be effective, and how to do them so you don’t get hurt. They also take care of formulating a fitness plan with your goals in mind. Missing a 6 a.m. workout is a lot less likely if you know there’s someone waiting for you at the gym ready to charge your credit card whether you show up or not. Just be sure to make sure they’re accredited and look into what kind – not all certifications are created equal. Can’t make it to the gym? Sites like Wello will do video-chat training sessions to serve clients anywhere, anytime.
2. Get a Nutritionist
Do you have fitness down, but need help with the food part of being healthy? A consult with a nutritionist may be your answer. A diet book has no concern for what foods you like and dislike, certain allergies, and current fitness levels. A dietitian will. They’ll give you a proper eating plan to follow and do all the math and science stuff, like calorie counting, for you. Before picking one, make sure you have a certain rapport with them so that you’ll feel at ease, know they give clear directions that you can easily understand, and explain why certain foods are and aren’t necessary. They don’t even have to be local. Dietitians like Mary Hartley, RD do Skype consults.
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