Dietitians Who is a dietitian?

WHAT IS DIETETICS?

Dietetics is the application of the science of food and nutrition to promote health and treat diseases. Dietitians assess, diagnose and treat dietary problems using medical nutrition therapy. Medical nutrition therapy is an evidence-based approach that translates scientific information on nutrition, health and diseases to enable individuals to make appropriate food choices to manage disease conditions and promote health.

HISTORY OF DIETETICS IN MALAYSIA

Hospital dietetics services began in 1953 under the Ministry of Health for food services and patient consultation. In 1965 dietetics services began in university hospitals while private hospitals provided dietetics services in 1982. In 1988, University Kebangsaan Malaysia pioneered the training of local graduates and currently there are 8 universities offering dietetics programmes in the country at the bachelor’s level. In 2005, dietetics was recognised under clinical and health services in the Ministry of Health to better present the role of dietitians in patient care. Dietetics services began in government primary care clinics in 2010 and today dietitians work across varied health sectors including private practice and digital health. There are about 1500 dietitians who are members of the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association practicing in the government, private sector and academia.

WHERE DO DIETITIANS WORK?

  • Hospitals
  • Health Clinics
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Healthcare industries
  • Sports Institutions
  • Non-government organisations
  • Private practice
  • Digital health companies
  • Universities and research institutes

WHAT ARE THE SERVICES PROVIDED?

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Nutritional risk screening
  • Individualised meal plan
  • Dietary consultation including group and online consultation
  • Specialised dietary prescriptions for acute and chronic diseases
  • Tube feeding and parenteral nutrition support
  • Recipes modification and development
  • Food service management
  • Training, education, and research
  • Health promotion activities

WHO ARE DIETITIANS WORKING WITH?

Dietitians provide services to individuals or groups who require medical nutrition therapy across the lifespan including :

  • Neonates and Infants
  • Children and adolescents
  • Adults
  • Older adults and elderly
  • Adults and children with special needs
  • Athletes

RECOGNIZED QUALIFICATION FOR DIETITIAN

  • Bachelor’s degree in dietetics or equivalent from accredited programmes locally or overseas
  • The degree must consist of stipulated hours of supervised dietetics practicum consisting of food service, community dietetics and clinical training