Comparison of nutrition knowledge among health professionals, patients with eating disorders and the general population

  • Ho A
  • Soh N
  • Walter G
 et al. 
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Aim: To investigate and compare the level of nutrition knowledge of health professionals, patients with eating disorders and individuals without an eating disorder as controls. Methods: Participants were recruited online through an Australian and New Zealand professional eating disorder organisation and community eating disorder organisations and a university in Australia. Assessment was conducted online using the General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire and SCOFF. Demographic data were also collected. Results: Dietitians had greater nutrition knowledge than all other health professionals, except medical doctors. Psychologists and dietitians had similar knowledge for choosing everyday foods. Dietitians had greater nutrition knowledge than eating disorder patients and controls in all areas of nutrition knowledge, while other health professionals had similar knowledge to patients. Patients with eating disorders had greater knowledge of sources of nutrients than controls. Conclusions: Australian health professionals exhibited higher levels of nutrition knowledge than health professionals in previous studies in other countries. However, non-dietitian health professionals had similar levels of knowledge to individuals with eating disorders. Training and continuing education in nutrition is needed so health professionals can confidently identify when a patient has misleading information about nutrition and either correct the misinformation or refer the patient on to a qualified dietitian. © 2011 The Authors. Nutrition & Dietetics © 2011 Dietitians Association of Australia.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Australia
  • Eating disorder
  • Health professional
  • Nutrition knowledge

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  • A S L Ho

  • N L Soh

  • G Walter

  • S Touyz

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