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After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Understand your scope of practice in terms of giving nutrition advice to clients and deciding when to refer clients to licensed nutrition professionals or healthcare providers.

  2. Describe several health concerns that may prompt clients to seek advice on changing eating behaviors.

  3. Discuss the six basic nutrient groups and common health concerns related to them.

  4. Educate clients about public-health dietary guidelines and where to find sound nutrition information.

  5. Answer clients' questions about common eating behavior issues, encouraging a positive, mindful attitude toward food and eating.

  6. Analyze the many factors influencing a client's eating behaviors, using an ecological perspective.

  7. Apply the Health Belief Model and Theory of Planned Behavior with clients in the early stages of change to help them shift decisional balance toward a decision to change.

  8. Target behavior-change interventions to a client's stage of change for specific eating behaviors.


image Jackson has recently begun a new job at a health and wellness retreat center. Clients typically stay at the center for a week, although some come only for a weekend; others stay the whole month. The center offers comprehensive spa services, fitness assessments, a variety of physical activity and stress-management options, personalized nutrition counseling with the staff dietitian, and evening lectures by well-known speakers who are informative and inspirational. The food served at the center is delicious and made from fresh, often-local ingredients. Jackson has been hired to teach and lead outdoor activities, including kayaking and hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. He also conducts orientation sessions for the climbing wall and helps with fitness testing.

Jackson's job is not only to teach these outdoor activities but also to make his sessions fun, uplifting, and compelling. Jackson enjoyed the new instructor orientation program and agrees with the center's philosophy on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The only area in which he feels he needs more preparation is modeling healthy eating behaviors and talking intelligently about food. After a few weeks on the job, he sees that the clients seem to be light years ahead of him in nutrition knowledge, and they bring up nutrition questions and issues to which he can't respond. He is getting tired of saying, "Let me check on that," and "What do you think?" While he enjoys most of the clients, he does wonder if some of them are crazy when they talk about fasting, eating only raw foods, or trying various "cleanses." Jackson decides to learn more about nutrition and health so that he can discuss food and nutrition issues more intelligently with his clients.image

Nutrition refers to the process of nourishing the body with food. The science of nutrition studies everything related to this process, including how people decide what to eat; the biochemistry of consuming, digesting, ...

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