Black Dietitians Matters

From the Black Dietitians Matter live session hosted by NOBIDAN I learned the systematic problems of the dietetics and nutrition industry for blacks and people of color. The first learning factor of this session was discussing the lack of diversity and inclusion in the field and how it starts at the educational level. The biggest problem currently in dietetics internship programs in America is gatekeeping and microaggressions of preceptors and board/director members that are making it hard for those wanting to stay in dietetics. Another issue that was addressed is how the programs leave little opportunity for students to provide and support themselves throughout their education. Many people of color who do not come from financial backgrounds expect support from family. The small barriers that systematically do not work for people of color automatically do not allow a diverse field. Soon the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is going to add another barrier which is having a master’s degree to become a dietitian.

            As we know African Americans and Hispanics are the leading populations for heart disease. The reason this is important is that greater success in understanding and implementing a plan that is better suited for an individual’s background comes from the compassion and empathy of a culturally competent dietitian. To prevent these health outcomes comes from the community level. The online seminar presenters agreed that dietitians going back to their communities to help with preventive health have the most impact. If we are preventing those who do not fit the stereotypical dietitian due to biases or racially related behaviors, we are further hurting public health in general.

Dr. Evelyn Crayton opened her presentation by mentioning that the field of dietetics feels like a club with a passcode for success and no one will give me that passcode. For myself with what I learned from this online seminar session I will take into my career to continue being an advocate of promoting dietetics and nutrition to people of color. I will also better learn how to propose how to make the internship programs easier for those who are at a disadvantage when it comes to obtaining their licensure.

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