Nutrition and Dietetics 435

NUTR 435: Nutrition Counseling and Education I

Prerequisites: BIOL 322, CHEM 101 or CHEM 120, CHEM 103, NUTR 303, NUTR 316, NUTR 317, PSYC 121, and senior standing.

Credit Hours: (3)

Presents current best practice techniques in nutrition counseling and education, including professional issues for the Registered Dietitian.


Detailed Description of Course

The purpose of this course is to present current counseling theories, behavior change models and educational techniques used by the nutrition practitioner to effect changes in food behaviors consistent with evidence based nutrition protocols for prevention or management of disease. Professional issues related to the provision of nutrition therapy by the Registered Dietitian will also be addressed.

Major topics to be covered

Foundations of Nutrition Counseling

  • Counseling theories
  • Behavior change models
  • Cross cultural issues, diverse clients
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Effective counseling skills
  • Assessment of practitioner’s attitudes and beliefs
  • Development of personal counseling philosophy
  • Nutrition Education
    • Educational needs assessment
    • Development and critique of educational materials
    • Effective nutrition messages
    • Presentations and instructional media

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will be conducted using case presentations; observation and critique of simulated and/or actual counseling sessions, live and/or videotaped demonstrations, development and critique of educational materials, journaling, lecture, and discussion.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

They following foundation knowledge and skills required for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (Dietetics Concentration) curriculum as set by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education will be met through this course.

Upon successful completion of the course:

Students will have knowledge of

  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Counseling theory and methods
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Media presentations
  • Lay and technical writing
  • Educational theory and techniques
  • Concepts of human and group dynamics
  • Educational materials development
  • Health behaviors and educational needs of diverse populations
  • Current reimbursement issues, policies, and regulations
  • Health care delivery systems

Students will have demonstrated the ability to

  • Use oral and written communications in presenting an educational session for a group
  • Counsel individuals on nutrition
  • Document appropriately a variety of activities


Assessment Measures

Assessment strategies will include formative evaluations, graded written exams, demonstrations, projects and journals.


Other Course Information

This course, in part, fulfills the requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (Dietetics Concentration) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.


Review and Approval

October 2004 Updated Anne Alexander, PhD, RD

Revised 3/6/09

March 25, 2012 Revised