“There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about nutrition, whether it’s through friends, internet, or someone trying to sell you something,” said Carrie Lambden, a registered dietitian and contact centre co-ordinator for Eat Well Saskatchewan, located at USask’s College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. “It can be hard to get good nutrition information, particularly if you live in a rural or remote area of the province.”
Eat Well Saskatchewan is jointly funded through the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and Indigenous Services Canada, and follows a six-month pilot project done in conjunction with Dietitians of Canada in 2018. The report from the study has just been released.
Eat Well Saskatchewan provides a direct link to dietitians who provide the most current nutrition information supported by the latest research.
“The college was a natural choice to become the home for the call centre,” said Carol Henry, associate dean of nutrition at the college. “It complements the similar services we’re providing to the pharmacy community and provides an environment in which evidence-based nutritional information can be trusted.”
People can connect with an Eat Well Saskatchewan dietitian with a toll-free call to 1-833-966-5541 (Monday to Thursday 10 am – 4 pm) or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a question any time. The service is also on Facebook @EatWellSaskatchewan, on Twitter @EatWellSask and at the website eatwellsask.usask.ca. The dietitian on call will answer general nutrition questions, and refer people to other professionals for individual counselling or medical advice.
According to the latest Global Nutrition Report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations, malnutrition is a serious global problem, with no country unaffected. In more affluent nations such as Canada, good nutrition can still be lacking even in major cities. Urban, rural and remote Indigenous communities are particularly vulnerable, with high rates of obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
“One of the main goals of Eat Well Saskatchewan is to bridge the gap for nutrition services to rural, remote and isolated communities, many of which are Indigenous and lack easy access to a dietitian,” said Sara Langley, regional nutritionist in the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch for Saskatchewan. “Closing the gaps in health outcomes for First Nations is one of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. One of the ways we are honouring this Call to Action is by funding this service, which will support other great work being done in Saskatchewan First Nation communities.”
Dietitian is a protected title in Canada, similar to physician, nurse, and pharmacist. Dietitians provide a wealth of knowledge and advice on everything from how to implement the new Canada’s Food Guide with traditional foods, to nourishing healthy babies, managing health conditions with diet, or even how to get fussy kids to eat.
“Eat Well Saskatchewan will allow all residents in the province the opportunity to access reliable, life-changing advice from dietitians, no matter where they live,” said Jennifer Wojcik, regional executive director for Dietitians of Canada. “A local dietitian will be standing by to answer questions from the public and health-care providers to help individuals and families make healthier, more informed food choices and to receive trustworthy information on healthy eating and nutrition.”
For more information, contact:
Carrie Lambden, RD
Contact Centre Co-ordinator
Eat Well Saskatchewan