C. Zinn PhD, NZRD, Senior Lecturer
Management of adult overweight and obesity: Consultation characteristics and treatment approaches of private practice dietitians
Version of Record online: 26 SEP 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2012 Dietitians Association of Australia
Nutrition & Dietetics
Volume 70, Issue 2, pages 113–119, June 2013
How to Cite
Zinn, C., Schofield, G. and Hopkins, W. G. (2013), Management of adult overweight and obesity: Consultation characteristics and treatment approaches of private practice dietitians. Nutrition & Dietetics, 70: 113–119. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0080.2012.01639.x
G. Schofield PhD, Professor - Public Health
W.G. Hopkins PhD, Professor - Sport & Exercise Science
- Issue online: 4 JUN 2013
- Version of Record online: 26 SEP 2012
- Accepted March 2012
- clinical nutrition and dietetics;
- evidence-based practice;
- weight control;
Aim: There are currently no data on dietitians' consulting practices or client profiles relating to weight loss in New Zealand. The present study describes the approaches to adult weight loss treatment, the consultation characteristics and the overweight/obese adult client characteristics of private practice dietitians in New Zealand.
Methods: Thirty-seven dietitians (70% response rate) underwent a 25-minute telephone interview in which they were asked structured questions relating to their consultancy practices with adult self-paying weight loss clients. They subsequently provided anonymous weight loss and demographic data for such clients (n = 1367) over a one-year period. Descriptive statistics were calculated and presented as frequency tables and figures.
Results: A flexible, small-changes approach was favoured most frequently over structured calorie/portion-prescription for weight loss treatment. All dietitians promoted physical activity and the majority of them (87%) often or always integrated behaviour modification strategies into practice. Most of the dietitians offered services on a casual basis (89%); initial consultations were typically 60 minutes in duration, with follow-ups, 30 minutes. Dietitians' clients were mainly female (80%), middle-aged (45 years ± SD 7 years) and of New Zealand/European ethnicity (92%). Baseline client weight was 87 kg ± 8 kg for females and 107 kg ± 15 kg for males.
Conclusions: Dietitians' practices aligned mostly with evidence-based guidelines; however, the lack of long-term client follow-up needs to be addressed if dietitians are to provide a lead role in supporting best-practice weight loss and maintenance treatment. The narrow client profile indicates that those with high health burden from poor lifestyle are less likely to engage private dietitian services.