• National Association Reports
    What are we doing in Hungary? The duties and roles of the Hungarian Dietetic Association
    Vol. 16 Issue 2
    Country: Hungary
    The Hungarian Dietetic Association (HDA) was established in 1991 to serve as a professional organization of dietitians. The registered dietitian members are specialized in different fields of nutrition such as hospitals and catering, social institutions, food industries, sport nutrition, or research institutes as scientific supports. The main aim of the Association is to achieve the development, preservation and promotion of health from the point of dietetics. These endeavors and achievements expand to clinical dietetics as well as to public health.

    The Association became a member of the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD) in 1994 and Budapest got the honour to greet the participants of the 5th Forum of EFAD held in 2003, first time in Eastern Europe.

    The HDA joined ICDA in 2008, with which it has been getting into the international circle of dietetics.

    The Association has created a stable cooperation with the Hospital Association - including both professional dietitians and financial leaders - which resulted in a cost-saving and efficient network. By the end of 2007 the network resulted in the rise of raw material cost from 280 into 550 Hungarian Forint and it also built a flexible and varied menu system, which was an enormous step for developing and raising the nutrition of patients to higher quality. The constitution of protocols regarding the diet therapy and prevention of different diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, chronic heart failure, is also included in the tasks of the Association. Comprehensive researches were carried out over the status of dietetics in Hungary and proposals were worked out for developing the role and efficiency of the profession. Continuous surveys are also made by the HDA over different tasks of nutrition for finding problems, sharing them with the professionals and making recommendations or opinions about the given tasks.

    The Hungarian Dietetic Association has been working on getting into the public sphere with the help of all the possible tools of media. It has a separate PR agency to use the most modern and efficient tools for advertising healthy eating.

    It has a strict relation with the food industry and would welcome several Programs, Academic Associations and Firms from the field of Nutrition as its partners.
    HDA is one of the founders of the Nutrition, Lifestyle and Physical Activity (TÉT) Platform on the basis of WHO proposal, which is the result of the network of civil organizations, the science of nutrition, the Hungarian government and the business sphere. As health education and the nutrition of children has always stood in the center of attention, with the help of HDA and TÉT Platform, several educational material have become available online. From 2008 January, a personal consultant service is also available for the public and the need for dietetic advice has been growing in the last years.

    The professional journal of dietitians “Új Diéta” (New Diet in English), published every two months from 1992, includes all the news, appeals, innovations, researches and reports, which stand in the interest of dietitians and health professionals.

    The goal of HDA is to keep continuous and up-to-date communication with its members, and is publishing three newsletters: Scientific Lifestyle Recommendations, which is always about a chosen, actual science-based topic; Media Monitoring newsletter collects the materials published online over the topic of dietetics, healthcare and healthy lifestyle; while Nutritional Academy newsletter informs hospitals, pharmacies of the basic principle of healthy nutrition. The Association owns a homepage www.mdosz.hu, where all the important tasks, such as current news, scholarships, activities, job opportunities, information about conferences or online educational materials can be found. The HDA holds trainings three times a year for the press representatives about frequent subjects to make them more informed.

    The Association also organizes conferences, where professional presenters are invited - even from abroad - to focus on important and popular topics. The next conference of the series will be held this year; its topic is nutrition for people above the age of 50. The previous ones included current subjects like wellness and sport nutrition, catering and nutrition of children.
    Various scholarships and awards, such as the Dietitians of the Year or the Academic Student Conference Award, are given to professionals by HDA.

    In summary, the Hungarian Dietetic Association tries to do its best in the field of nutrition and dietetics - using the tools of media and right relations - to be in the service of health-prevention and promotion.

    Emese Antal, Bernadett Tóth
    Hungarian Dietetic Association
    H-1092 Budapest, Ferenc krt. 2-4.
    Email: mdosz@mdosz.hu