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Management of obesity: attitudes and practices of Australian dietitians

journal contribution
posted on 2000-06-01, 00:00 authored by Karen CampbellKaren Campbell, David CrawfordDavid Crawford
OBJECTIVE: To document attitudes and current practices of Australian dietitians in the management of overweight and obesity, and to examine their training needs.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional postal survey of a randomly selected sample of members of the Dietitians Association of Australia.

SUBJECTS: 400 dietitians (66% of those surveyed).

MEASURES: Questionnaire-based measures of dietitian's views of obesity, education and training in weight management, definitions and perceptions of success, professional preparedness, approaches to weight management, strategies recommended for weight management, and problems and frustrations experienced.

RESULTS: Dietitians viewed themselves as potential leaders in the field of weight management, and saw this area as an important part of their role. While they considered themselves to be the best-trained professionals in this area, many felt that their training was poor and many were pessimistic about intervention outcomes. Despite this, most dietitians held views that were current, and regularly employed many of the elements of known best practice in management. However, important areas of weakness included: providing opportunities for long-term follow-up; providing a range of management interventions; promoting self-monitoring of diet and exercise; and promoting opportunities for social support.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that training in and advocacy for the management and prevention of overweight and obesity are priority areas for dietitians, and that formal studies to evaluate dietitians' effectiveness in management should be undertaken.



International journal of obesity






701 - 710


Nature Publishing Group


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2000, Nature Publishing Group