Dietitians’ Culturally Competent Best Practices for Improving Southern African Americans’ Health Status

Health disparities of African Americans in the South highlight the need for nutrition-related culturally competent best practices.  Registered Dietitian Nutritionists need more culturally relevant educational tools to be more effective.  Cultural competency of dietitians leads to effective nutrition education and counseling.  The 2017 Centers for Disease Control Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems report identified that African Americans living in Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS), and Alabama (AL) have a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity as compared to Caucasians.  The purpose of this study was to identify how RDNs address cultural competency during nutrition education and counseling sessions.  The results of the National Organization of Blacks in Nutrition and Dietetics (NOBIDAN) 2019 Survey, which was administered to NOBIDAN members, asked questions related to member demographics, client/patient demographics, and culturally competent work practices.  The results of the survey showed the three top diseases/conditions NOBIDAN members most often provide nutrition education and counseling for are obesity (72%), diabetes (67%), and high blood pressure (53%) and the highest need for resources were reported for African Americans (73%), followed by Hispanics (71%), and then Asians (62%).  To improve client/patient knowledge, NOBIDAN members use resources in the client/patient’s native language, their usual foods during demonstrations, and listen to them and ask questions to ensure understanding of the topic.  To improve client/patient compliance, NOBIDAN members use motivational interviewing to compromise with them and set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound (SMART) goals.   


Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University
Valerie N. Thompson, BS; Rachel Fournet, Ph.D., RDN, LDN & Candi McElheny, Ph.D. Susan Steele-Moses, DNS
Presentation Date: 
Friday, December 13, 2019
Event or Conference: 
Research and Scholarship Showcase
Presentation Type: 
Poster Presentation
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Attachment(s): 
Presentation Location: 
Biology Learning and Research
5414 Brittney
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
United States