Nutrition Education and Counseling Notes

Nutrition Education and Counseling Notes - Nutrition...

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Nutrition Education and Counseling Notes Nutrition education involves teaching the client about the importance of nutrition, providing educational materials that reinforce messages about healthy eating, teaching adolescents skills essential for making dietary change, and providing information on how to sustain behavior change. Information gathered during nutrition screening or assessment will provide the necessary information on which nutrition issues need to be addressed during nutrition education and counseling sessions. Prior to beginning the education process, it is helpful to assess what the adolescent already knows about nutrition, how ready they are to adopt new eating behaviors, and if there are any language or learning barriers that may need to be addressed in order to facilitate the nutrition education process. Motivation to make behavior changes can be easily assessed using a 0 to 10 scale. Once a teen’s motivation to make behavior change has been assessed, nutrition educators must determine the best course of action to facilitate dietary change. Table 1 provides a model for nutrition education and counseling based on stages of change. This model provides strategies for advancing clients to the next level of readiness to change. Adolescents often enter nutrition education and counseling at the precontemplation stage. They are often not aware of the potential health risks associated with poor eating habits and have not thought about making dietary changes. The initial goal of nutrition education and counseling therefore, will be to increase the client’s awareness of risks associated with current eating habits. In situations such as the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, adolescents may be aware of the need to change dietary habits but may show resistance toward change. Identifying potential barriers to change and providing small, achievable goals along with concrete strategies to facilitate necessary dietary modifications are often the initial stages of nutrition education. A variety of methods of nutrition education are used successfully with adolescents. Individuals learn in a variety of ways and each individual responds differently to various methods of education. In general, adolescents learn best when they are actively involved in nutrition education. • For general nutrition education topics such as making healthy food choices at fast food restaurants, classroom presentations or group education sessions are an efficient and effective way to reach a large audience of teens. • Small groups can be used to provide nutrition education to adolescents who are found to be at nutritional risk and would benefit from modifying eating behaviors. Weight management, vegetarian eating and sports nutrition are topics that can effectively be addressed in small groups. • An individualized approach, such as one-on-one counseling, will be required for adolescents
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2011 for the course HUEC 4010 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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Nutrition Education and Counseling Notes - Nutrition...

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