I hope you all had a chance to see the Spring issue of the Nutrition Dimension magazine (either via the mail or the digital version) which is devoted to the topic of obesity. So many of us have been touched professionally and personally by this epidemic. How can we not when over 60% of the U.S. is either overweight or obese.
We are inundated with stories and information about the obesity epidemic. News stories discuss a multitude of ways to prevent obesity, while TV shows and ads declare they have found the magic cure for obesity. In theory, losing weight should be simple: Decrease food intake and/or increase exercise output.
In practice, however, losing weight is never simple. The reality is that 90% to 95% of people who lose weight do not keep it off. That is a dismal success rate. Yet more discussions and energy are devoted to helping people lose weight. Despite all the attention, more than 112,000 Americans die of obesity-related diseases each year and it contributes to four of the leading causes of death in the United States. The estimated total costs to society—including medical treatment, lost workdays because of obesity-related illness, and sales of diet products, foods and services—surpass $100 billion a year.
In 2011, when Medicare began reimbursing primary care providers for intensive behavioral therapy for obesity, registered dietitians and registered dietitian nutritionists, were not among the providers allowed to be paid directly for Intensive Obesity Counseling. However they can be a part of a Medicare-compliant obesity program.
To learn more about what comprises a Medicare-compliant obesity counseling program and how to increase the odds for success, take the time to read the continuing education course in the Nutrition Dimension Spring magazine: Who, What, Why: Medicare Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity. If you would like to earn 1.5 CPEUs, you can take the test online, which is free until December 31, 2014.
Since it is now April, that is good news for those of you still trying to meet the CDR deadline for your continuing education requirements May 31. In addition to the free CE course in the magazine, Nutrition Dimension has created two fun resources. The first one, “CE Made Easy,” is an A-Z guide to CE for RDs, RDNs and DTRs that will help you avoid common mistakes with your portfolio. The second one, “Dietitian CE Advisor,” is an interactive survey that will find courses based on your input, needs and desires. Check them out at www.NutritionDimension.com/recertifyme and have some fun while meeting your CE requirements.
Don’t forget, let us know how we are doing with the magazine. Do you like it? Are the resources useful? What else would you like to see included? Let us know so we can continue to make is a valuable tool for your professional and personal use.
Happy Spring! Especially to all of you who had such an long, cold, and snowy winter.
Director, Food, Nutrition and Dietetics