[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How Canadian dietitians define and use non-dieting and size acceptance approaches (SAAs) in the context of weight management was explored.
Fifteen focus groups with 104 dietitians were conducted in seven Canadian cities. Questions were designed to explore participants' understanding and use of non-dieting and SAAs, including counselling goals, techniques, and outcome measures. Sessions were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded, and analyzed using qualitative methods.
Participants generally agreed that non-dieting involves promoting healthy lifestyles and avoiding restrictive diets. Participants also agreed that size acceptance means accepting all body shapes and sizes and promoting comfort with one's body. Many dietitians said they use size acceptance only with appropriate clients, most often with those who are lighter or without other health risks. Others said that size acceptance, by definition, is appropriate for everyone. Opinions varied about the appropriateness of teaching portion sizes or using meal plans, and whether weight loss could be a goal of non-dieting and SAAs.
Views on the usefulness of non-dieting and size acceptance strategies in weight management counselling were related, at least partially, to the different understanding that dietitians had of these approaches. Terminology needs to be clarified when we speak about non-dieting and SAAs. The varied understanding about these concepts should help dietitians reflect on their own perspectives and practice.
No preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study describes Canadian dietitians' approaches to counseling adults seeking weight-management advice. Fifteen focus groups were conducted at seven sites across Canada. The participants, most of whom worked in clinical or private practice, discussed their approach to specific weight-management counseling scenarios, including women clients with and without associated risk factors (impaired glucose tolerance, hypertension, family history of cardiovascular disease) and long histories of dieting. Results indicate that participants used a lifestyle approach for weight-management counseling, where the main goal was improved client health through healthful eating and increased physical activity. In contrast to clients' perceived weight loss goals, participants rarely included weight loss as a goal for clients with no additional chronic disease risk factors. For clients with risk factors, some participants advocated moderate weight loss, while others aimed for health at any size. Participants also discussed the importance of clients' psychological well-being, particularly in relation to feelings about food and body image. Individualized approaches to setting goals, gathering information, and giving advice/educating were identified as key counseling strategies. Further research to evaluate the effectiveness of dietitians' weight-management approaches and additional counseling training for dietitians will enhance practitioners' skills and confidence in this area.
No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Journal of the American Dietetic Association