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March 3, 2024

Experts warn: choose sports health professionals wisely

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Leading nutrition experts urge sporting codes to choose health professionals wisely.

Recent media reports have unfairly linked dietitians with the recent NRL drug scandal. This has prompted Australia’s leading nutrition organisations to call on all Australians, including professional sporting clubs, to do their background checks before recruiting a nutrition consultant.

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) says the false naming of a fitness professional as a dietitian by Australian media on the issue of drug use in sport is misleading to the Australian public. The Association wants to reassure the public of the high standards of accredited practising dietitians in Australia.

‘Accredited practising dietitians pride themselves on being the best in the business,’ says CEO of the DAA, Claire Hewat. ‘You can trust they are university qualified with in-depth training in nutrition science. They also undertake ongoing professional training and education programs.’

DAA warns that many Australians, including sporting club officials, are unaware that the terms dietitian and nutritionist can be used by those with limited nutrition qualifications.

Ms Hewat says that checking if a nutrition professional is accredited with DAA or Sports dietitians Australia (SDA) is a sure-fire way to ensure athletes and the public are in good hands.

‘As a network of qualified dietitians (APD), with further training and practical experience in sports nutrition, SDA Accredited Sports dietitian members are at the forefront of evidence-based, scientific nutritional support,’ says SDA president, Kellie Hogan. ‘Like DAA members, our members participate in a rigorous assessment and reaccreditation process to attain this qualification.

‘As leading nutrition bodies in Australia, DAA and SDA have strict codes of professional conduct and codes of ethics to ensure an accredited practising dietitian is your trusted health professional,’ says Ms Hewat.

DAA says a simple check on DAA website www.daa.asn.au will show whether a dietitian or nutritionist is accredited with the national professional body.

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