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Promotion of physical activity by Canadian Registered Dietitians in daily practice

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Abstract Background 

Dietitians are in an opportunistic position to promote healthy eating and active living. The purpose of this study was to determine counselling strategies of dietitians 1 year after attending a workshop designed to strengthen dietitians’ self-efficacy for promoting physical activity (PA) as an adjunct to regular nutrition practice. Methods 

A convenience sample of Registered Dietitians (RDs) in Alberta, Canada (n = 103) responded to an invitation via an electronic newsletter to complete a web-based survey that asked about counselling practices related to PA. Results 

Thirty-seven workshop attendees (n = 37) were compared with a group of dietitians (n = 66) who completed the survey but who did not attend the workshop. Nearly all (91%) respondents reported promoting PA in daily practice. Those who attended the workshop were more likely to refer clients to PA professionals (2 = 12.68, P < 0.05) than those who were not workshop attendees. Conclusions 

Despite a relatively modest response rate, there were clear suggestions that RDs in Alberta, Canada promote PA in daily practice and attending a workshop designed to facilitate the use of specific tools and strategies for promoting PA in daily practice resulted in increased referral of their clients to exercise specialists.
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Keywords: dietitians; physical activity; referral

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, Agriculture Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada 2: Peace River Community Health Centre, Peace River, AB, Canada 3: Physical Education and Recreation, Van Vliet Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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