Research Showcase Abstracts
Explore abstracts from CFDR’s annual research showcase at the DC Conference.
Creating an interactive timeline of Canadian dietetic history: media dietetics
The history of dietetic practice was most recently recorded in the 1993 publication, Canadian Dietitians: Making a Difference. At this time, the role of dietitians working in traditional media (television, radio, newspaper etc.) was emerging. Additionally, social networking websites were non-existent until years following this book’s publication. Thus, historical record in this area of practice is lacking and documentation is required.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
To develop a timeline and conduct key informant interviews to describe the historical experience of dietitians working in traditional and social media from a Canadian perspective since 1993.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
A draft timeline of media dietetics was created based on a literature review and descriptions of key media initiatives provided by informants. Eleven key informants completed semi-structured audio-taped telephone interviews, using the draft timeline as a starting point. Recordings were transcribed and coded by six research team members for descriptive and interpretive content using thematic analysis. A social ecologic framework was used to organize themes.
Interviewees worked in 9 provinces while involved in the media including Ontario (n=7), Manitoba (n=4), Quebec (n=3), British Columbia (n=2), Nova Scotia (n=2), Saskatchewan (n=2), New Brunswick (n=1), Alberta (n=1) and Prince Edward Island (n=1). They reported 6-41 years of dietetic work experience in the media (mean: 22.2 years). Five main meta-themes emerged from the interviews. (1) Media involvement and the expansion from traditional to social media; (2) advances associated with using media in dietetic practice; (3) challenges associated with using media in dietetic practice; (4) media dietetics emerging through DC initiatives and advocacy; and, (5) implications of COVID-19 on the role of media dietitians.
Media dietitians play a key role in educating the public and act as trusted and credible sources of nutrition information. Over the past quarter-century, through advances in technology and the development of the internet, Canadian media dietetics has evolved dramatically.
Significance to Dietetics
These findings will be used to inform dietitians and students about the history of the profession. A better understanding of dietetic practice in the media can also guide future developments and increase public awareness of the work that dietitians do.
University of Guelph. In-kind support from Dietitians of Canada.
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