Naming Nutritional Injustice: How Might Dietitians Articulate a Socially Just Dietetic Practice?

Monday, 16 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Jennifer BRADY, Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada
This presentation will invite listeners to consider how the ideals, concepts, and language of nutritional justice may be incorporated into the everyday practice of dietitians whose work is often carried out within large, conservative, primary care institutions. How might dietitians address the nutritional injustices that bring people to their practice, when practitioners are constrained by the limits of current diagnostic language, as well as the exigencies of their workplaces? Although advocacy skills are important for dietitians to address social justice concerns, I suggest that dietitians also need a practice-based tool to help connect the nutrition problems experienced by those who use dietetic services to underlying structural, systemic causes. I draw on literature from occupational therapy to imagine a diagnostic tool for dietitians working toward a socially just dietetic practice. I share my visions of a politicized diagnostic language that articulates nutrition problems as the outcome of nutritional injustices rather than individuals’ deficits of knowledge, willingness to change, or available resources. The presentation will discuss how a change in diagnostic language for dietitians may help practitioners reframe and address nutrition problems as the outcomes of systemic nutritional injustice and may hence, further shape socially just dietetic practice.