The truth about rehab diet (and "nutritionists")

Today's guest position comes from Colleen O'Connor and Justine Horne, two registered dieticians who recently started to investigate whether there is a difference between information provided electronically by approved health professionals (registered dietitians) and unregulated sources of nutrition information (nutritionists ) when it comes to "detoxification" diets. Guess what? There was. Here is their study published in the journal Canadian of Dietetic Practice and Research and below are their thoughts on the same

With January being the main time for New Year's resolutions, you have most recently seen a multitude of social media ads preaching the changing benefits of each diet under the sun, including detoxification.

So we have to do detoxification? Drinking lemon water for a week is going to clear our body from all these supposedly bad toxins that surround us daily? Is a detox diet the solution to your lifelong battle with weight management? Is it "cleaning up" your body with things like active energy refreshments, even safe?

You may have assumed that the answer to all these questions is no. So why are we so revolted by detox diet?

Part of the reason may be the information we read electronically. Our team at Brescia University in London's West University, Ontario, reviewed the information published on dietary blogs on diets and this research was published today in Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. The study aims to determine whether nutritionists and nutritionists in Ontario provide safe, scientifically-based information and advice on dietary nutrition on the internet.

But wait … is there a difference between dietician and nutritionist?

In Ontario, yes there is – everyone can be described as a nutritionist. That's right, you can open your own business as a self-proclaimed "nutritionist", sell food services to friends, family and anyone else you want, and hey, some insurance companies will even cover the cost of your services! You may have never read a word about nutrition, but you can call yourself a "nutritionist". Do you see something wrong with this situation?

Surely we do.

Alberta, New Scotland and Quebec. That is why their provincial legislation protects the title "nutritionist" for use exclusively by those with extensive scientific education and nutritional training – registered dietitians (also referred to as "dieticians"). Registered dietists complete an accredited four-year degree in science programs to learn about science behind food and nutrition, complete a competitive practice consisting of at least 1250 hours of internship supervision and pass a 6-hour national examination. They must keep up-to-date the latest and greatest scientific evidence on nutrition and be registered members of a regulatory body which is responsible for ensuring that dietitians promote scientific advice and advice on safe diets through a quality assurance program.

So, our team at Brescia University at West University reviewed the online information on detoxication from Ontario's diet and nutrition websites. We compared this information with the latest epistemological review article conducted by peer-to-peer drug addictions and as a whole, they found the following:

  • Uncontrolled "nutritionists" provide unsuccessful, misleading and potentially harmful information about detoxifying foods in their blogs.
  • Registered dieticians, on the other hand, provide safe, scientifically based information on detox diet in their blogs.

If you believe that anyone can be described as a "nutritionist" in Ontario, these findings are not really amazing. But they concern.

Our study underlines that the current situation in Ontario can harm the general public. Ontario's legislation on the open use of the term "nutritionist" has to be changed. If you agree, you can show your support via an electronic signature of this report.

The fact that one can easily find himself in the expense of precious time, energy and money for food services that have no scientific value and the ability to do bad is really upset. If you are looking for nutrition information, make sure it comes from someone who is trustworthy, such as a dietician. In Canada, you can search for a dietician near you by clicking here or by clicking here. Many insurance companies cover the cost of dietetic services. Nutritionists are also available through family health groups, hospitals, community health centers and other public healthcare organizations. If you have just a few quick questions about diet, dieticians are now part of TeleHealth Ontario. Give them a call at 1-866-797-0000 to chat for free or visit

So instead of doing a detox diet, devote your efforts to making sustainable, lifelong, scientifically supported lifestyle changes. Start small, with 1 or 2 specific changes and keep them until you become habits. Then add something new. Small, sustainable lifestyle changes can add to a major lifestyle reformation and guide you on your way to health and well-being.

Colleen O'Connor is a registered Dietitian and Associate Professor at the School of Food and Nutrition Sciences at Brescia University. She worked as a clinical dietitian in various environments before returning to school and completing her PhD. at Guelph University. He teaches undergraduate clinical nutrition classes. Recent research has included interest in the effects of fermented foods on human health, the impact of smartphone applications on the health effects of youth health and the intake of nutrients from residents in long-term care. She is enrolled at the Ontario Dietitian College and is a member of the Dietitians of Canada and the Canadian Nutrition Society. You can find it on Twitter here.

Justine Horne is a registered dietitian and doctoral candidate in Health and Aging at the University of West Ontario. He received the PhD Frederick Banting and Charles Best for his Ph.D. project, which aims to evaluate the usefulness of innovative, personalized nutrition strategies to help patients improve health behaviors and achieve a healthy body weight. Justine is currently working as a dietitian in the East Elgin Family Health Group. She is enrolled at the Ontario Dietitian College and is a member of the Dietitians of Canada and the Canadian Nutrition Society. You can find it on Twitter here.