HEATLH AND WELLNESS AT THE YMCA
Having Trouble Finding a Nutritous Balance?
You’re Not Alone. And The Kokomo Family YMCA is Here to Help!
Brandon Whitehead is a Clinical Nutrition Manager (CNM) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) at Logansport Memorial Hospital (LMH). At LHM, he works in multiple areas: inpatient, outpatient, cardiac rehab, cancer care center, pre operation education, supervision of kitchen staff, quality assurance and improvement, regulatory agency compliance, and making recommendations for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for Area 5 in Cass County. Brandon has over 2 years of experience at Kokomo YMCA as a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) with an accreditation through American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Brandon is also an adjunct professor and Teaching Assistant (TA) at Indiana University Kokomo (IUK) teaching nutrition courses, development of recipe creation for classroom teaching, catering events on campus, fueling stations for athletes, gluten free testing, and development of grant writing and implementation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?
Many people can call themselves a nutritionist without going through any schooling or certification. There are some that go through an Accredited program that certifies them as a nutritionist. Dietitians now state they are Registered Dietitians (RD)-older way or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)-new way. The new way embodies the word nutritionist to help create less confusion and to show that dietitians go through proper accreditation. As an RDN, you must hold an undergraduate degree or higher as well as go to a college that has an accredited dietitian program. As a dietitian intern, you must go through rotation sites and have 1200 hours of intern hours. These hours include Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), FoodService Management, Community Nutrition, and you have the opportunity, depending on the program, to choose rotation sites that you are interested in learning as well. Once you complete the 1200 hours, you are registered eligible to take a standardized exam. It is a pass/fail test. If you pass, you may call yourself either an RD or RDN. In the state of Indiana, you must also hold active licensure and have 75 continuing professional education units (CPEU) within 5 years to keep your RD/RDN status.
Where do your interests lie within nutrition/dietetics?
I enjoy outpatient, oncology, sports, and tube feeds the most. These are more rewarding and challenging to myself.
What have you heard about the ketogenic diet?
There’s a lot of information out there regarding a ketogenic diet. Usually this may be useful for those with a seizure disorder as doing low carbs and high fat foods tends to reduce seizure activity. For individuals without this, I always state, “Do you think you could sustain this long term? If not, let’s work on behavior changes and things you enjoy eating that are sustainable that also incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. People tend to emphasize more saturated fats, which has a correlation (not causation), with inflammation within the body. Also, if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, this may increase your risk for the disease state later.”
What is the cost?
Are there different types of dietitians specialties?
Yes, there are different specialities of dietitians. You can take exams to specialize in weight management, renal (kidney), oncology (cancer), sports, pediatrics, enteral/parenteral nutrition (feeding tube/ nutrition via vein). As an RD/RDN, many have broad knowledge of these concepts. Specializing shows improved proficiency in these areas and shows that you are considered an “expert.”
What type of diet should I be doing?
Every day, people usually have somewhat of a routine of what they eat. This is called a diet. I like to stay away from the word “diet” as people associate this with short term changes in eating rather than long term sustainable behavior changes that emphasize more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which tend to be lacking in the “Western diet.”
What is involved in the diet counseling sessions?
The first consultation involves gathering data from you. The assessment includes I. Food Nutrition-Related History II. Client History (family history, surgeries, active history, etc.), III. Labs (if available- this is helpful for those with possible diabetes, chronic kidney disease, anemia, etc.) IV. Nutrition Focused Physical Exam (if warranted- useful for noted edema of extremities, muscle/fat loss-unintentional, micronutrient deficiencies- findings may be related to things other than micronutrient deficiencies), V. Anthropometrics (height, weight, BMI, In-body). After the assessment, I provide the most relevant nutritional diagnosis. This is not a medical diagnosis as Registered Dietitians(RD) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). It is out of my scope of practice to make a medical diagnosis. Last, the client and I develop an intervention and agree on this. This is the end of the first consultation session. The following consultation sessions include follow-up and adjusting things that did not work well and keep those that did work, to hone better behavior. It is still up to the individual to put in the work. I can only provide the resources and knowledge to guide you.