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Concurrent Session: Nutrition Education for Health Professionals: A strategy to advance the Food for Health agenda

Saturday, May 7, 2016
1:45pm - 3:00pm


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Useful Tips for Effective Nutrition Communication on Social Media
With the advent of social media networks in our daily lives, we are faced with an explosion of shares, likes and comments on various topics. Nutrition does not escape, nor science. More and more researchers and healthcare professionals subscribe to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social networks (like LinkedIn or ResearchGate) and express opinions concerning several hot topics in the field of nutrition. This is a great way to reach people and to transmit knowledge. This incursion in the web universe also facilitates networking between researchers, healthcare professionals and the public that may follow the publications through a dedicated page or via hashtags. This media training entitled "Useful Tips for Effective Nutrition Communication on Social Media" is aimed to teach researchers and dietitians from a variety of backgrounds and experience to effectively communicate nutrition and health messages via social media. Hopefully it will encourage experts to get more active on social media to provide the public with easy access to credible and up to date information about healthy eating.

In this presentation, Media Dietitian, Abbey Sharp will cover the DOs and DONTs for nutrition communication on social media. Abbey will share:

  1. The pros and cons of different popular social media outlets (i.e. Twitter vs. Pinterest. vs. Instagram vs. Facebook vs. YouTube). With so many options out there, and so little time, Abbey will help you determine the best places for Nutrition professionals to invest their time for the greatest impact on brand growth and nutrition communication.
  2. How to grow a social following on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Abbey will give insider tips on success with the biggest social media platforms and the fastest road to growth.
  3. How to start a food blog and create a brand that is credible, memorable and shareable. Abbey will discuss best practices for food and nutrition blogging, and creating content that people want to read, like and share.
  4. How to work with brands and communicate credible nutrition information to the masses in ways that make sense to your audience, make the brand happy, and maintain our high standards of evidence based practice.
  5. The secrets to starting a successful YouTube channel on a budget. You don't need a Hollywood budget to start creating amazing digital content on YouTube. YouTube is an incredible medium to help grow your personal brand, grow the nutrition profession at large, and communicate nutrition messages to the masses. Abbey will provide you with the tools you need to get started without making a huge financial investment.

Enhancing knowledge translation in nutrition through a healthy eating blog: a feasibility study
Marie-Eve Caplette

Only 40% of Canadians eat the minimum recommended portions of fruits and vegetables (F&V), so novel strategies are needed to improve dietary habits. Social media, such as blogs, represent a unique opportunity for improving knowledge translation (KT) in health care as they facilitate interactive communication between health professionals and different population groups. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of using an evidence-based healthy eating blog (HEB) promoting the consumption of F&V among adult women, prior to undertaking a full randomized controlled trial (RCT). Eighty women aged 18 years and older (42±13 years) eating less than five servings/day of fruit and vegetables (2.75±1.84 servings) were recruited. Participants were randomized to the HEB group (n=40), which included a weekly blog post over a six-month period, or to a control group (n=40) that had no exposure to the HEB. Blog posts were written by a registered dietitian and focused on the improvement of F&V consumption. Feasibility was assessed by collecting blog browsing history data for each participant. During the intervention, 26 posts were published on the blog. Questionnaires were completed by 96.5±3.2% of participants on average, and all participants attended their in-person appointments (100%). Women accessed an average of 86.6±7.1% of the posts published during the intervention. Only 2.5% of participants (2/80 women) dropped out of the study. These results suggest that an intervention using a HEB is feasible. A larger scale RCT using the same methodology can be conducted to assess the effect of the HEB intervention on F&V consumption.



Dr. Katharina Kovacs Burns

Associate Director, Health Sciences Council, and Director, Interdisciplinary Health Research Academy, University of Alberta

Dr. Maitreyi Raman

Gastroenterologist and Nutrition focused physician, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Calgary

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