Guest Blog by BDA Chairman, Dr Fiona McCullough
Dietitians Week (8-12 June 2015), is led by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and provides a fantastic opportunity to promote the dietetic profession nationally and even globally. The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,000 members. The BDA is also an active trade union.
We have created a week full of activities and events to highlight the value of dietitians and their work. The week includes a range of national awareness raising and political events throughout the UK, including all four UK parliaments, which promotes the profession and the impact of dietetic practice on the health of the nation.
Dietitians Week was established as part of the BDA’s Trust a Dietitian, wider campaign, which highlights the work and worth of dietitians and the dietetic profession in the UK. The world’s first Dietitians Week took place last year: 9-13 June 2014 and we at the BDA were proud to be at the helm. Trust a Dietitian demonstrates and promotes the great variety of roles within the profession and the significant impact dietitians have on public health. It has and continues to equip BDA members with tools and resources to help them promote their services and the impact of these services.
In addition, it is hoped that the information that comes from Trust a Dietitian, and indeed Dietitians Week, will help drive demand for dietetic services. What sits at the heart to the campaign is the promotion of dietitians as the “absolute gold standard” when it comes to food and nutrition expertise. Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.
The BDA is very proud to be involved in such an amazing awareness week as Dietitians Week, which is dedicated solely to the dietetic profession. This project has been a really exciting product of Trust a Dietitian.
“Following on from the tremendous success of last year’s Dietitians Week, I am extremely thrilled and delighted that we are doing it all over again in 2015. Once again, this will be an exciting and unique way in which to highlight the value and impact of the dietetic profession all around the UK.”
“I sincerely hope, and am confident, that BDA members and our valued partners and supporters will once again step up to the plate for what is sure to be another fantastic Dietitians Week.”
“You only have to look online, switch on the television or pick up a newspaper to see just how many people out there are claiming to be food and nutrition experts. The nutrition ‘noise’ that surrounds us is so loud, with mixed food and nutrition messaging, ranging from the indifferent, to ridiculous, to the downright dangerous. Dietitians Week is the perfect opportunity for us to shout loud and proud about our work, and the work of the wider profession, and lay claim to the accolade of being the absolute “Gold Standard” when it comes to food and nutrition professionals.” Dr Fiona McCullough, BDA Chairman