The Navy announced an initiative to provide registered dietitians to units throughout the fleet in NAVADMIN 160/18, released July 10, 2018.
The joint initiative between the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel and the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, authorizes commanders to request dietitians to temporarily join their commands, in order to increase sailors' knowledge about nutrition and health resources.
This initiative makes registered dietitians available to assume a temporary additional duty (TAD) status to commands, providing education on performance nutrition, healthy eating habits, hydration, and safe dietary supplement use. Bringing registered dietitians directly to the fleet greatly enhances sailor access to nutrition education, which in turn increases medical readiness.
"Before this initiative, sailors had to take time away from work to travel to a medical treatment facility for preventative treatment," said Navy Nutrition Program Manager Lt. Pamela Gregory. "Now this can be done at the command which will increase productivity and decrease time away from work."
In their TAD role, registered dietitians will advise command leadership and sailors on the importance and benefits of diet modifications, food selection and food preparation in preventing disease, sustaining health and improving quality of life. They will also be an on-hand asset to the medical department.
(U.S. Navy Photo by MC3 Michael Eduardo Jorge)
"This initiative opens up access for more sailors to registered dietitians who know the most about creating and sustaining energy, rapid recovery for the physical demands and long hours of Navy life," said Navy Dietetic Specialty Leader Cmdr. Kelly Mokay. "Our goal is to educate Sailors on what makes for a healthier, better balanced diet."
Registered dietitians will also be available to counsel individuals and groups on the importance of timing meals and snacks, what foods provide the most energy, help with physical recovery, and how nutrition monitoring can optimize sailors' quality of life. Additionally, they can collaborate with command food service officers and culinary staff on increasing the quality and nutrients of food service, menu development, budgeting, evaluation of food service facilities and developing nutrition programs.
"Having registered dietitians in the fleet is going to create a paradigm shift in the culture of nutrition — shifting from a focus on disease treatment to one of disease prevention, said Bill Moore, director, Navy Physical Readiness Program. "And this initiative provides our sailors access to a resource that allows them to take greater control over their personal health."
To learn more about nutrition education resources available to you, visit www.nutrition.navy.mil
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