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Relationship between professional experience as a practicing dietitian and lifestyle and dietary habits among graduates of a department of food science and nutrition

Minatsu Kobayashi (Department of Food Science, Faculty of Home Economics, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan)
Sayo Uesugi (Department of Food Science, Faculty of Home Economics, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan)
Reiko Hikosaka (Department of Food Science, Faculty of Home Economics, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan)
Rieko Aikawa (Domestic Science, Junior College Division, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 14 September 2015

429

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effects of professional job experience on the lifestyle and dietary habits of participants who have studied food science and nutrition and acquired a dietitian license. The dietary habits of students of departments of food science and nutrition have been reported. However, no study has compared the dietary habits of graduates with and without actual clinical experience.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 206 participants who graduated from the department of food science and nutrition of a university located in Tokyo between 1975 and 1984 completed a questionnaire on food and nutrient intake and lifestyle habits in 2011.

Findings

Total fat and SFA intake adjusted for energy intake or frequency of snack and fast food intake differed among participants with and without experience as dietitians, indicating that dietitian experience influenced the dietary habits of participants for approximately 30 years after graduation. Nutritional knowledge and skills acquired during attendance at a dietitian school are effective in maintaining favorable behavior for a long time. However, nutritional knowledge and skills were enhanced by later professional experience.

Originality/value

The refining effect of clinical experience appears to contribute to the maintenance of daily dietary habits and health. Professional experience can contribute to the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases not only personally but also for other people in terms of public health nutrition or nutritional education.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was partially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 2013-2017(25350852, Minatsu Kobayashi). The authors appreciate the individuals who participated in this research.

Citation

Kobayashi, M., Uesugi, S., Hikosaka, R. and Aikawa, R. (2015), "Relationship between professional experience as a practicing dietitian and lifestyle and dietary habits among graduates of a department of food science and nutrition", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 45 No. 5, pp. 716-727. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-02-2015-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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