Diyetisyen ve Diyetisyen Adaylarının Sürdürülebilir Beslenme Konusundaki Bilgi ve Tutumlarının Değerlendirilmesi
Ünal Özen, Gurbet
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For current and future generations, it is of great importance that especially awareness of healthcare professionals be raised about sustainable diets, which are defined as diets with low environmental effects that contribute to nutrition and nutrition security alongside healthy living. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and approaches of students studying in Nutrition and Dietetics undergraduate program at universities in Ankara as well as dietitians, who are members of the Turkish Dietetic Association, with regards to sustainable diet. The study was conducted with a total of 1.307 individuals, including 876 Nutrition and Dietetics program students, 230 students from other programs, included as a control group, and 201 dietitians. A four-part questionnaire was developed to assess the knowledge and attitudes towards sustainable diet. The first part of the questionnaire deals with the general characteristics of the participants. The second part includes the opinions of the participants about the environment and environmental problems. The third part looks at their knowledge about and approaches to sustainable diet. The fourth part includes their eating habits. The questionnaire involved, 5-point Likert type questions related to the level of knowledge about sustainable diet, approaches to food exchange and approaches to food loss and waste reduction strategies under the heading of sustainable diet, and total scores were calculated using the answers obtained from these questions. During the data collection process from the student sample, universities were visited when it was convenient for the relevant department, the study was then explained to them, and voluntary students filled in the questionnaires, so the data were collected. In the data collection process from the dietitians, the questionnaire was sent to the e-mail group of members of Turkish Dietetic Association, and the incoming responses to those e-mails were assessed accordingly. 84.6% of the dietitians, 58.6% of nutrition and dietetic students, and 15.2% of the students from other departments stated that they had heard of definition of sustainable diet before (p<0.001). The total knowledge scores of sustainable diet was 41.896.58 among the dietitians, 34.444.95 among nutrition and dietetic students, and 32.306.08 among the students from other departments (p<0.001). Among the student sample, the total knowledge score of sustainable nutrition varied based on universities, undergraduate level, and residence place (p <0.001 for each). Scores of nutritional loss and waste reduction strategy were 31.15 4.51 among the dietitians, 29.63 4.60 among the among nutrition and dietetic students, and 28.155.63 among students from other departments (p<0.001) The food exchange score was also sufficient in the group with sufficient level of sustainable diet (p<0.001). Similarly, nutritional loss and waste awareness levels were statistically significant among the groups whose sustainable diet levels were sufficient and inadequate (p<0.001). When the energy and nutrient intake and food consumption of the participants were evaluated according to their knowledge on sustainable diet, dietary carbohydrate, fiber, non-essential amino acid and iron intake and also fruit consumption showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.05 for each). Further development of the knowledge, attitudes, and approaches of dietitians among healthcare professionals concerning sustainable diet and more involvement of sustainable diet and its components in nutrition and dietetics curriculum are important for future studies. This is because nutrition and dietetic professionals have the potential to play an important role in sustainable diet both in the dissemination of individual and social practices as well as in the development of policies.