Nutrition Services

Why you should consider seeing a Registered Dietitian

  • Nutrition-Services.jpgChronic disease accounts for seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. and 75 percent of the estimated $1 trillion spent on healthcare annually.
  • In 2000, about half of the deaths among U.S. adults could have been prevented through better nutrition.
  • Scientific evidence has shown that nutrition contributes significantly to preventing illness and premature death.

Outpatient Dietitians at University Hospital can:

  • Determine your specific nutritional needs such as
    • How many calories you need each day to either maintain, lose or gain weight
    • How much protein you need each day to maintain or improve lean muscle mass and/or promote wound healing after an injury or surgery
    • How many carbohydrates you need each day to prevent diabetes or improve blood sugar control
  • Identify specific changes that can be made to improve your dietary intake
  • Make the most up-to-date, scientifically based nutrition recommendations in a way that is easy to understand to help you make well-informed decisions related to your diet
  • Help you obtain adequate fiber from whole grains and vitamins and minerals from foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Help you manage your sodium; saturated fat or trans fat; and refined sugar levels
  • Help you overcome barriers that may be preventing you from making positive changes to your diet
  • Provide the support and accountability you need to continue with the positive changes you've made to improve your nutrition and overall health

Services offered include:

  • Individual nutrition counseling
  • Small group nutrition counseling
  • Nutrition classes

About University Hospital Outpatient Nutrition Services

Research has shown that medical nutrition therapy with a Registered Dietitian (primarily in an outpatient setting where regular monitoring and follow-up is available) can help people reach their nutrition goals and improve the health of patients. This includes reducing hospital re-admissions as well how long patients stay in the hospital. It can also reduce costs associated with chronic disease-related complications.

The Outpatient Nutrition Services Registered Dietitian provides services for patients with conditions, including heart and lung diseases; cancer; gastrointestinal disorders/diseases; and obesity who have been referred by their physician, but is available to provide nutrition counseling in other areas as well. Additionally, the dietitian will serve on the LVAD care team to provide nutrition counseling and education to patients leading up to and following their procedure. In addition to one-on-one counseling and education with patients and their families, the RD will be teaching all of the cardiac rehab, pulmonary rehab and heart failure nutrition classes. Furthermore, the RD will be participating in outreach efforts such as health fairs and community nutrition classes.

What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes.

To set up an appointment

  1.  Talk to your doctor about obtaining a referral.  Referrals can be sent to Fax: 706-774-2152.
  2. Check with your insurance company to find out if Medical Nutrition Therapy or nutrition counseling is covered under your plan. If it is not, you will be expected to pay upon check-in prior to your appointment. The cost is $92 for your first one-hour visit and $46 for every 30-minute visit thereafter.
  3. Schedule your appointment: Call Outpatient Nutrition Services at 706-288-3079 Appointment times are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. through 4 p.m.
  4. Prior to your appointment: Brainstorm or write down any questions or concerns you have related to nutrition to make the most of your session with the dietitian.

What to expect during your appointment

The dietitian will review your past medical history, weight, BMI (body mass index), pertinent labs and medications as well as vitamin and mineral and herbal supplements you might take. She will also review your eating habits and your physical activity. After that, she will help you to establish a plan by setting nutrition-related goals to help make positive changes in your eating behaviors.