Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences


Dietitians--Attitudes; Weight loss


The purpose of the study is to explore the attitudes of registered dietitians toward two methods of weight loss: very-low-calorie diets and the non-diet approach. A questionnaire was designed by the researcher. The questionnaire packet consisted of a cover letter explaining the purpose of the study, a personal data section, and opinion-based questions about very-low-calorie diets and the non-diet approach. One hundred eighteen randomly selected registered dietitians who are clinical practice group members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The data was analyzed using frequency, mean, standard deviation, and paired t-test prbcedures. A statistically significant difference was found between the attitudes of the subjects towards the non-diet approach versus the very-lowcalorie diets. Of those surveyed, 102 (92.7%) would recommend the non-diet method for weight loss. Safety,? contributes to long-term improvement in quality of life,? and ?can be sustained long term? were the primary reasons for recommending the non-diet approach. Of the subjects, 32 (27%) would recommend using very-low-calorie diets for weight loss. ?Motivating,? effectively produces weight loss,??and psychologically benefiting? were the reasons for recommending very-low-calorie diets. Of the respondents, 97% believe there is a method which effectively produces weight loss, however the largest percentage (33) of subjects did not state a particular weight loss method, but noted that the weight loss approach must be individualized. Dietitians face a dilemma as to how to treat obesity, or even if it should be treated. The non-diet approach, a new alternative to weight loss programs, is promoted for overweight individuals. However, dietitians must also recognize the importance of treating people on an individual basis, educating them on the importance of good nutrition and physical activity while attempting to establish a realistic goal weight.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [36]-38)


47 pages




Northern Illinois University

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