Non-dieting focused weight management curriculum in current accredited US dietetic programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Grace Huebner (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jared McGuirt

Abstract: Objectives: Non-dieting, weight neutral approaches (NDWN) to weight management that focus on non-restrictive dieting and healthy weight, such as Health at Every Size (HAES), have been effective in weight management practices, but the degree of assimilation in U.S. dietetics programs is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the awareness and prevalence of, and interest in non-dieting focused weight management curriculum and determine factors associated with the presence of the curriculum in Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited dietetic programs in the U.S. Methods: Directors of all US dietetic Coordinated Programs (CP) (n = 60) and Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) (n = 214) were sent an online cross-sectional survey via RedCap software. For inclusion, programs were required to be an ACEND accredited CP or DPD program. The survey included questions about the program, student and faculty demographics, program structure, and topics pertaining to NDWN curriculum including knowledge, awareness, and interest in a NDWN approach to weight management. Results were analyzed in R Studio Version 1.1.463. Results: Of the 116 programs (42%) that responded, most (95%) reported knowledge of NDWN approaches to weight management such as HAES. While awareness was high, a smaller amount of schools (72%) included NDWN into their curriculum, and this was primarily accomplished in a single lecture (53%). For programs without NDWN, most (74%) indicated interest in having NDWN in the curriculum. The most common factors that kept programs from including NDWN were: 1) lack of trained and knowledgeable staff (35%) and, 2) insufficient space in the curriculum to incorporate additional topics (35%). Conclusions: Findings suggest that many programs have adopted NDWN curriculum, in a relatively modest manor, but that some US dietetic programs have fixable barriers to incorporation. A higher degree of incorporation may be needed to provide more comprehensive care and decrease weight bias among dietitians.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Curriculum, Non-dieting, Weight management
Body weight $x Regulation
Dietitians $x Training of
Curriculum planning

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