The treatment of eating disorders is a complex process. Though they are designated as a mental disorder, there are many physical aspects of eating disorders that require the combination of both psychological treatment and physical treatment by a range of healthcare professionals.
An article on Medical News Today reports on a recent study conducted by the American Dietetic Association that concludes that registered dietitians are an essential part of the treatment process for those with eating disorders. Though treatment often involves counselors and physicians, the team must be rounded out by a person specializing in the intricacies of nutrition, says the report.
The report was written by Amy D. Ozier, PhD, RD, LDN, assistant professor of family, consumer and nutrition sciences at Northern Illinois University, and Beverly W. Henry, PhD, RD, LDN, associate professor of family, consumer and nutrition sciences at NIU.
Eating disorders can be potentially fatal, with anorexia nervosa having the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder, including schizophrenia and depression. Those treating eating disorders must be trained as an important member of the team that takes into account the mental and physical challenges posed to those trying to recover from an eating disorder.
The report says that registered dietitians are uniquely qualified to provide the nutritional information necessary to help the patient achieve success with healthy eating patterns.