Nutrition Therapy Helps Patients Emotionally, Research Shows

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- People who receive nutrition counseling to help control an illness don't just eat better -- they often feel better emotionally and more in control of their condition, a new study suggests.

About 57 percent of 400 patients visiting a registered dietitian for one session said they felt better emotionally after the visit. Nearly 65 percent said they felt in control of their illness after nutrition counseling.

"When people improve their diet, it helps contribute to their sense of emotional and physical well-being and gives them a feeling of control over their health," said M. Rosita Schiller, professor of medical dietetics at Ohio State University.

The research appears in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The researchers followed up on 400 patients who received nutrition counseling from a registered dietitian at either the Ohio State University Medical Center or the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Two hundred patients were seen at each institution. The patients had either been hospitalized or referred to outpatient nutrition services at one of the facilities.

The dietitians completed a patient information form during each counseling session. Researchers phoned all patients within eight weeks of the session to assess the patients' understanding of their diets, changes they anticipated as a result of counseling

Contact: M. Rosita Schiller
Ohio State University

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