Nutrition education and practice - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Nutrition education and practice

We have focused our research on the use of new technologies as an educational tool, the placement experience of our students, the current practice of Australian dietitians in a range of areas, and the training of other professionals in nutrition.

Key projects include:

Competency development and role of WIL
Train and Sustain – (Associate Professor Fiona Pelly and Judy Tweedie)

Train and Sustain is evaluating a training module developed specifically for this study to assist preceptors (supervisors) of students while on work integrated learning. The project is supported by a USC commissioned grant.

Current practice of Australian dietitians (Associate Professor Fiona Pelly, Judy Tweedie, Dr Gary Slater, Dr Hattie Wright, Tetyana Rocks and Dana Craven)

We have a number of projects currently underway that examine the current practice of dietetics in Australia. These include physical activity assessment and advice provided by dietitians, pre-operative nutrition provided after bariatric surgery, practice around refeeding post eating disorders, screening and assessment of malnutrition within the community, and extended scope of practice in gastroenterology.

Nutrition advice and the fitness industry (Dr Gary Slater).

Australia has approximately 26,000 registered exercise professionals (REP), in comparison with ~3,500 accredited practicing dietitians (APD). The REP workforce has the potential to reach more than 10% of the Australian population but there is limited data on their educational background and professional behaviours with regards to nutritional counselling of clients. Our group has started to explore the issues at hand within the fitness industry relating to the provision of nutrition advice. A series of manuscripts are in production.

  • McKean MR, Slater G, Oprescu F, Burkett BJ. Do the nutrition qualifications and professional practices of registered exercise professionals align? International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2015 Apr;25(2):154-62.
  • Nutrition knowledge and beliefs of nutrition and dietetic students (A/P Fiona Pelly, Dr Gary Slater, Dr Lisa Martin and Tetyana Rocks). This study is examining the nutrition beliefs and practices of students currently studying nutrition and the possible relationship to disordered eating
  • Lawrence, K., Pelly, F. Rocks, T. The nutrition knowledge of dietetic undergraduate students: An exploratory study. Nutrition and Dietetics (early view)