Programs that evaluate an individual's nutritional history and dietary intake and develop a plan which ensures that the person's nutritional needs are met. The evaluation includes a review of the individual's food habits and preferences, an assessment of his or her feeding skills and eating problems and an analysis of biochemical and anthropometric variables including the person's height and weight and the fat content of his or her body.
Programs that conduct physical examinations of individuals to assess their strength, flexibility, endurance, muscle tone, reflexes, cardiovascular health and their general ability to carry out daily tasks with vigour and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure time pursuits and meet unforeseen emergencies. The assessment provides an overall profile of the individual's fitness and may include specific recommendations regarding areas for improvement and activities for remediation.
Programs that maintain lists of dietitians and nutritionists, and link individuals with qualified practitioners who can help them develop healthy eating habits and change their diet, if necessary, to manage their weight, reduce their cholesterol levels, lower their blood pressure, deal with diabetes or prevent and/or treat other health concerns.
Programs that provide information concerning the basic principles of healthful eating, food handling, food preparation and shopping skills. Included is information about the basic food groups, vitamin and mineral requirements, the relationship of nutrition to the preservation of good health and the prevention of illness, and dietary choices such as vegetarianism.
Programs that utilize one or a variety of techniques including nutrition education, exercise, special diets, protein sparing fasting, behaviour modification, hypnosis, medication or surgery to help individuals who have a weight control problem gain or lose weight to achieve a more healthful body weight and develop a lifestyle that allows them to maintain that weight.
Programs that provide activities for people who want to improve their strength, flexibility, endurance, muscle tone, reflexes, cardiovascular health and/or other aspects of physical functioning.
Programs that provide access to free weight equipment, ankle weights, weight machines, treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing equipment, step machines, weight benches, exercise mats, pedometers, stopwatches and other gear that is used to improve physical fitness.
Mutual support groups whose members are individuals who have a problem with compulsive eating, who eat the wrong foods or are people who are overweight and are using the group to develop self-esteem and self-confidence, and accept themselves as they are. Also included are groups that are structured specifically for or accept people who have a diagnosed eating disorder. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; provide emotional support, information and resources for those who participate; offer weight loss or weight gain support only, no special diets; and may include faith-based and secular 12-step groups as well as non-12 step groups.
Multidisciplinary programs, often offered on an inpatient basis with post-discharge outpatient therapy, that provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for individuals who have anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, bulimia or a related eating disorder. Treatment depends on the specific type of eating disorder involved but typically involves psychotherapy, nutrition education, family counselling, medication and hospitalization, if required, to stabilize the patient's health.
Programs that raise awareness and educate the community about body image and eating issues while promoting normal eating, active living, self-acceptance, and respect and appreciation for size diversity. "Body image" refers to a person's perception of his or her own physical appearance. People with a poor body image perceive their own body as being unattractive or even repulsive to others while people with a good body image, or positive "body acceptance", either see themselves as attractive to others, or are willing accept their body as it is. Concerns about body image have led to poor self-esteem, reluctance to participate in physical activities, preoccupation with weight and dieting and an increase in the likelihood of developing an eating disorder.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.