In celebration of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day on March 12, we want to give a big shout-out to all the registered dietitians (RDs) and nutritionists across the country who are helping people live healthier lives.
RDs have worked with patients for decades, but did you know that many grocery retailers – from large to small – are now employing RDs to help consumers while they’re in the store? I can’t think of a better place to learn about good food than in the place where you’re purchasing your groceries. It’s one of those brilliant ideas that make you say “why didn’t I think of that?”
You may wonder what a day in the life of a supermarket dietitian looks like. Well, it’s as varied as it is rewarding. For example, RDs may consult one-on-one with customers, answering questions about the latest food trends or medical research, or teaching people about foods that are good for preventing diseases, losing weight, or eating for a healthy heart. Grocery store tours are another way retail RDs educate consumers – they show how to read shelf and nutrition labels providing not only tips on eating healthier, but in many cases, eating more economically. And, who doesn’t love the food demos where RDs demonstrate easy recipes and share a few cooking techniques in the process? (Not to mention the opportunity to sample these healthy treats too!) As ambassadors for their employers, RDs raise awareness of the store by promoting healthy foods at community events, writing articles for store blogs and circulars, or answering nutrition questions via store websites.
Retail dietitians add value not only to their retailers, but to their communities, as well. Often, health care professionals working in hospitals, clinics or private practice, refer their patients to supermarket RDs, knowing that their patients’ health issues will be addressed with respect and confidentiality, and that they’ll learn firsthand which foods are best for their health condition. Corporate wellness is another area that RDs are involved, whether for a local business or for their own employer. Across the board, RDs are keeping us healthy, happy, and smarter shoppers!
If you haven’t made friends with your local supermarket RD, we encourage you to ask your grocer if they have on-site dietitians. If so, make a point the next time you’re shopping to stop by and meet the RD on staff. You’ll not only have the opportunity to learn more about their services (most are free) you may also discover some new things about good food and nutrition.
We hope you’ll join us as we applaud and thank the RDs in our lives!
As you may imagine, RDs are incredibly busy – they meet with customers and patients, they write articles for online and print media, as well as appear on television and radio. We realized that RDs are helping people in a myriad of ways, and asked ourselves, who supports them? Oldways Nutrition Exchange (ONE), an online resource for RDs, other health care professionals, and anyone interested in healthy eating, was born soon after. To learn more about the Oldways Nutrition Exchange and our online themed Toolkits filled with resources, check out our ONE portal.