Sept 28 2012 - Footy Finals Fever

Nutrition Bites - 28th Sept 2012

It's footy finals fever and it's all on for Hawthorn versus Sydney on Saturday's AFL Grand Final and then Melbourne Storm plays the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the NRL Grand Final on Sunday! We are excited for our Accredited Sports Dietitian members Simone Austin (Hawthorn and Melbourne Storm), Dr. Helen O'Connor (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) and Rob Haala (AFL Boundary umpire) who will be part of the action this weekend.

We asked Simone and Helen what their final advice is to the boys in their last-minute preparation for this weekend. Helen says "stick to the same food and fluid plan you’ve used all season. Finals are not the time to change anything!” No doubt players will be nervous in the lead up to the big game, but fuelling and hydrating still remains a key priority. Simone says “If you’re nervous, eat small and frequent meals. The preparation over the week will ensure you’re fuelled for the finals.”

Simone is also especially proud of her contribution to getting Luke Hodge on the playing list after a stomach upset. “I’m rapt that his diet plan has played an important part to ensure he’s regained his energy and stamina for this Saturday.”

Accredited Sports Dietitian Rob Haala has been named to umpire Saturday's game - luckily Rob practices what he preaches and his umpiring will be attuned to perfection this Saturday! We wish all of our members the very best as they prepare for a big weekend on the sporting calendar.

What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?      

In Australia there is a distinction made between dietitians and other occupations in the nutrition and food science field, including that of nutritionist.The key difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is that, in addition to or as part of their qualification in human nutrition, a dietitian has undertaken a course of study that included substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management.

Therefore, in Australia, all dietitians are considered to be nutritionists however, nutritionists without a dietetics qualification cannot take on the specialised role of a dietitian. Furthermore, a sports dietitian is a clinically trained dietitian with a minimum of 2 years' industry experience and specialises in the requirements of sport and exercise, whilst also potentially managing other clinical conditions through diet prescription.

There is no industry specific assessing authority that assesses the qualifications of nutritionists who are not dietitians.

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