Country – Hungary
After graduation, Hungarian dietitians can work in various fields of nutrition, like clinical nutrition, prevention, health or wellness centers, food industry etc. Most of these fields are about face-to-face relation with clients, so professionals have to adopt a client-centered approach, and treat each person on an individual basis. More and more researches highlight the importance of person-tailored diet counseling, as many different conditions lead to a disease, which vary between individuals.
Dietitians who counsel individuals and not a group, have to own those tools and methods, which help them to work out the best recommendations, that fit the client’s needs. The frequently used methods as a part of the dietetic counseling involve the determination of nutritional status by the assessment of body weight, body mass index and the percentage of body fat using Bio-electric Impedance Analysis Technology, and the traditional measurement tools. The dietary assessment is carried out using a food frequency questionnaire, a food recall or the analysis of a food diary, and also involves detailed discussion on work information, personal food preferences and habits. Based on all of the above information, personal nutritional requirements can be assessed and a person-tailored diet plan can be formulated. Dietitians educate the clients regarding their dietary treatment, give the necessary dietary recommendations to manage their eating habits, and most importantly formulate menus to put their advice into practice.
The formulation of menus is usually helped by a nutrition assessment computer program, which calculates and stores the nutrient requirements of a person, assigns the manually or automatically formulated menu to the individual’s profile, counts the nutrient content of a given meal, puts it into the daily menu and compares the results with the recommended nutrient requirements of the person.
After the menu is given to the client - together with the practical and necessary dietary advices, the recipes and the shopping list - it is the client’s task to prepare the meals from the menus. The constant follow-up is really important for the efficacy of the dietary treatment, but do people have enough time to prepare all the meals, day after day and bring them to their work place, school etc.? This gap has been bridged by a food delivery company, which delivers meals that are tailored to a client’s personal requirements. There are two ways in which this is done - one way is composing and delivering a menu which covers the requirements of a group (such as the pregnant women or the elderly people etc.), while the second way is about the person itself, making a fully comprehensive dietary assessment for a client and delivering such menus, which fits personal requirements.
Taking a fully comprehensive, individualized dietary treatment helps the people to meet their nutritional requirements. Hungarian dietitians have got the basic knowledge to carry out such treatments, but constant knowledge-updating is also essential to lead the population towards health and nutrition.
Bernadett Tóth, dietitian
Monitoring Committee Member and EFAD Representative of the Hungarian Dietetic Association