Where to Seek for a Qualified Registered Dietitian?
Written by Accredited Practising Dietitian (Australia), Ms. Sylvia Lam
In recent times the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and pharmaceutical bodies stated that the abuse of weight losing pills is serious. Some individuals showed complication such as acute liver failure, confusion and even fatal cardiac arrest after consuming the products. Therefore, people have been more conscious of their health because of these incidents. And increasingly people went to seek dietary advice from dietitians. However, lots of self-claimed “nutritional experts”, “body slimming experts”, “nutrition consultant” etc. have been emerging in the market, providing dietary advices. So, how can the general public know who is a qualified registered dietitian?
Once, there was a female patient that I have encountered who joined a weight loss treatment in a weight loss and beauty centre. The “body slimming expert” of the centre instructed the lady to “restrict her diet”, telling her to avoid many food groups, even restricting the intake of rice to only a few mouthfuls. In additional to that, she was told to do mark time exercise 30 minutes per day. She dropped weight very rapidly but also developed a range of abnormal symptoms, such as a paleness, dizziness, irregular menstrual period and extreme fear of eating. When her weight stopped dropping, she lost confidence of herself and became depressed. Her family thus accompanied her to seek medical advice, and she was unfortunately diagnosed with eating disorder.
To prevent the above situation, one should find a qualified registered dietitian for dietary advice. There is still no local registration system of dietitians in Hong Kong, but the registered dietitians practicing in Hong Kong must possess the professional qualifications from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada or Australia. A registered dietitian must hold a bachelor degree or master degree of nutrition and dietetics; complete a 6-12 month clinical placement and registration process of their registered country. Registered dietitians also need to participate in continuing professional education in order to maintain their knowledge and registration.
To find a qualified registered dietitian, please go to our website to find out more: http://www.hkda.com.hk
Translated by: Gabriel Pun, Accredited Practising Dietitian (Australia)