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Arleen Thomson: Health care on nutrition not widely known

To the editor:

I was interested in reading your article on “Prescription for Nutrition” (Gazette, April 2) and the dilemma that most physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants face in their busy practices.

Most people do not realize that their health insurance covers nutrition counseling for health concerns such as diabetes, renal failure, hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, Crohn’s disease, food allergies and anorexia. It also typically covers bulimia, binge eating disorders, anemia, weight loss and nutrition for pregnancy, infancy and early childhood.

Nutritionists obtain a bachelor’s degree in the field and are required to finish a year-long internship before they can practice. Most have graduate degrees as well, which make them the experts in the field. Continuing education is required to maintain licensing with the American Dietetic Association in order to stay current with research. Insurance companies have just begun covering nutrition visits over the past 10 years and therefore many individuals do not realize they have this benefit.

Individuals may call a nutritionist directly. The number of visits usually ranges from four to 30 a year, according to one’s health insurance.

Arleen Thomson


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