How dietitians can help your employees

Giving blood is, well, in Gina McDonald’s blood. It’s so important to McDonald, the head health coach of Capital Blue Cross, that she does it every two months like clockwork.

Unless something stops that clock and prevents McDonald’s from donating. This is precisely what happened last April.

“I have been flagged for low iron – again,” said McDonald, who said the problem has occurred periodically in the past. “So I couldn’t donate, and it was very frustrating for me. I had finally reached my trigger point where I said, “Enough. I have to do something about it.

McDonald called Kaitlyn Miele, a registered dietitian (RD) at Capital Blue Cross, to schedule a consultation and go over a list of questions McDonald’s had about his iron levels and a diet journal.

“It was extremely beneficial to take a look at my diet and ask Kaity to answer my questions,” McDonald said. “I was given resources on how to stabilize my iron – things that fit very easily into my life – and it was a very open conversation that addressed my concerns about what was making my iron too low for me. meet the criteria for donating blood. “

Why see a RD?

Too often, McDonald said, people mistakenly believe that dietitians are for people such as professional athletes or those with serious weight issues, eating disorders, or chronic health conditions.

Corn according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ET), dietitians can also help people looking to make nutritional changes to achieve a specific goal – like McDonald’s trying to increase their iron levels – or those looking for behavior or performance changes that may be related what they eat. Examples include people caring for aging parents, those with digestive issues, pregnant women or new mothers, or people just looking for practical lifestyle advice, such as making sure their families eat healthier.

Impact on the employer

DRs also offer economic benefits that trickle down to employers. According to a published review of 10 studies, outpatient medical nutrition programs using dieticians have reduced costs for doctors and medications, and decreased hospitalizations for people with various chronic conditions. This can mean lower health claims costs for employees, healthier employees who work more and greater employee productivity.

DNA notes that dietitians can partner with physicians and patients to create realistic, safe, and sustainable diets, and dietitians are creative in helping to plan meals, purchase food, and eat mindfully. . The newspaper American family physician advocates that dietitians be part of a team approach to nutritional patient care.

“Nutrition-specific issues, behavior change strategies, meal planning, goal setting – all of these are reasons to meet with a dietitian,” McDonald said. “That’s why they’re here, for an open conversation and an exchange of information.”

“You have the resources”

Another misconception is that only a few can afford registered dietitians.

Capital Blue Cross has registered dietitians available by appointment through its Capital Blue Cross Connect health and wellness centers. You can book an appointment in person at Connect Centers, by calling 1.855.505.2583, or online at

McDonald’s scheduled her date, made some “quick and easy changes” Miele suggested, and returned to healthy iron levels – and to the blood donor center. She wants everyone to know that dietitians can help them too.

“You get to a point where you’re like, ‘I’ve got to do something about this,’” McDonald said. “Guess what? You have the resources to do it.

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