Quebec Summit on Food and Nutrition

MONTREAL, Dec. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ) believes it is time to reflect on the future of the profession. The OPDQ has therefore initiated a wide-scale consultation process, first with its own members and later with partners and stakeholders in various food-related and nutrition-related sectors. The results of this process will ultimately be the topic of discussions during an interdisciplinary summit to be held next March.

This initiative will hopefully prompt dieticians/nutritionists to redefine their contribution in collective wellness strategies implemented in Quebec. "Food and nutrition are at the cornerstone of life. While they continue their daily activities with their patients and reflect on some health issues such as chronic illnesses and obesity, dieticians/nutritionists must now take into account new socio-demographic, economic and environmental realities and adapt their interventions accordingly in order to contribute to the development of enduring solutions. The role of dieticians/nutritionists must now be redefined and recognized", declared OPDQ President Michel Sanscartier.

Future challenges

An aging population, cultural diversity, climate changes, evolving agricultural and food production practices, the globalization of trade, and disparities in wealth distribution are only some of the social challenges ahead of us in the second millennium that directly affect the profession and its practice over the coming years. "For several years, health care professionals have been discussing issues of interdisciplinarity. That concept must now get integrated into our practice on a daily basis. The OPDQ members therefore wish to act as catalysts in the search for solutions that will reflect the best interests of the population", added M. Sanscartier.

Open consultation

Over the next few days, Quebec's dieticians/nutritionists, whose numbers reach 2,500 or so, will be surveyed. Afterwards, individual meetings will be held with partners and stakeholders in the sectors of health, education, agriculture and food production, and biopharmaceuticals. This in-depth investigation will ultimately lead to the Summit on Food and Nutrition, which will take place on March 22, 2010. In addition to dieticians/nutritionists, ministries and decision makers in various fields, professional corporations and associations, universities, and citizen protection groups will be invited to attend and express their opinions. This forum will provide an opportunity to identify joint action priorities and lead to an action plan focused on collective wellness.

According to the OPDQ, a significant shift is taking place in Quebec on how we think about food and nutrition. We are increasingly looking to adopt one global vision and a consulted approach. "The secret is thinking and acting together. Dieticians/nutritionists will redefine their role within this new reality and this now necessary complementarity", stated Annie Chapados, the Director and Secretary for the OPDQ.

About the OPDQ

The Professional Code recognizes the members of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec as the sole specialists on human nutrition. The mandate of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec is to protect the public regarding food and human nutrition, and in particular by controlling the practice and quality of the professional act, and by maintaining and developing the professional skills of its dietician/nutritionist members.

By issuing statements and taking well-focussed measures, the OPDQ is contributing to the health and wellness of our population and of individuals, promoting health-conscious environments favouring good dietary habits, and supporting its members in their professional development. Furthermore, the OPDQ advocates measures for greater education and access to information that is sound, accurate and in the interest of the public, so that everyone can make well-informed decisions about food.

SOURCE ORDRE PROFESSIONNEL DES DIETETISTES DU QUEBEC

For further information: For further information: Marie-Christine Deschênes, Enigma communications, (514) 982-0308, ext. 243, Cell.: (514) 825-0308, mcdeschenes@enigma.ca

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ORDRE PROFESSIONNEL DES DIETETISTES DU QUEBEC

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