Module 1 – understanding dietary guidelines and how they can be used to guide treatment
This module provides a comprehensive overview of the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, and how these guidelines lead to smarter choices and healthier lives, guides policy and informs industry. Nutrient reference values and the link to food choices and chronic disease is highlighted. Recommended servings are listed for each of the five major food groups. The module compares the Australian guide with international dietary guidelines. A case study is presented examining patient food consumption and suggests better food choices to meet the patient’s goals. References and guides are presented throughout the module.
Module 2 – dietary approaches for the management of chronic disease
This module focuses on the role of nutrition and diet in the aetiology of major nutrition-related chronic diseases. Most chronic diseases are responsive to improved dietary choices. The dietary management of conditions including weight concern, coronary heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer and chronic kidney disease are outlined. Recognised dietary options such as plant-based diets, Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, vegetarian and MIND diet are discussed in detail. The module concludes with the discussion of isolated food groups and macronutrients in managing chronic disease including low glycaemic index (GI) food, low fat and high protein diets.
Module 3 – bursting common myths and fads
This module focuses on comparing and evaluating current popular diets against the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The description and pros and cons of popular diets including paleolithic (paleo) diets, ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, gluten-free and ‘I Quit Sugar’ diets are discussed. The module then focuses on distinguishing the credible, evidence-based facts of nutrition information against unreliable nutrition myths to ensure patient safety in primary care. The organic vs non-organic, coconut oil usage, green juices and smoothies are discussed. Common red flags and a list of trusted are provided.
Module 4 – vitamins & minerals: when are supplements necessary?
The module focuses on the role of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and outlines the classification of the micronutrients that are essential to optimal health whilst also considering good dietary choices. It includes an overview of vitamins and minerals, the context for micronutrient supplements, indications for the use of micronutrient supplements, myths and claims and further considerations for patient management. Micronutrient deficiencies and toxicities that can alter normal body functions are included together with outlining how supplementation impacts chronic disease outcomes. Patient case studies are included for osteoporosis and pregnancy. Micronutrient deficiencies and toxicities are included. The module concludes with a discussion on micronutrient myths, claims and future considerations.
Module 5 – nutrition in gastrointestinal health
This module focuses on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It outlines the diagnosis, burden and pathophysiology of this condition including symptoms of food intolerances and the role of elimination diets as a treatment option. The mechanisms, clinical effectiveness, potential consequences and practical application of a low FODMAP diet are explained in detail. Guides on when to refer a patient to a dietitian are also outlined. The module concludes with a discussion on the role of diet and gut microbiota in the aetiology of gut conditions, including focusing on the microbiota in IBS.
Module 6 – malnutrition in older adult: identifying and managing nutritional risk
This module defines malnutrition and includes an overview of the malnutrition burden and the prevalence of this condition in older adults. It recognizes that ageing is associated with increased multi-morbidity and that a significant number of older adults may not be able to shop for food and prepare meals. It focuses on the implementation of nutrition screening and assessments with validated screening tools including the Malnutrition Screening Tool, the Mini Nutrition Assessment and the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool plus others, to identify signs and symptoms associated with malnutrition. The Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition consensus diagnostic criteria is included. Common nutrition interventions and strategies used by GPs are discussed including the ESPEN Geriatric Guidelines and the importance of minerals and water in geriatric care. The module concludes with a case study to reinforce learning.
Module 7 – talking with patients about weight loss and weight management strategies
This module focuses on using effective communication and counselling strategies to support patients with weight concerns. Weight management, BMI and mortality including management of weight biases are outlined. Included are dietetic assessment tools and recommendations, followed by a step-by-step approach to discussing weight management including the STATE and RULE guides. Crucial conversations and motivational interviewing techniques are covered incorporating a person-centred approach and suggestions for individualized patient advice. The content covers barriers and enablers. The module then discusses the non-diet approach focusing on healthy eating and positive body image. The topics of eating disorders and unhealthy eating behaviours conclude this module.
Module 8 – bariatric care: complete nutritional guide for pre and post-surgical patient care
This module focuses on bariatric surgery and describes the most common bariatric surgery procedures including laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. Although less common, laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with/without duodenal switch is also discussed. The benefits, complications, effectiveness and success of these surgeries are outlined. Eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery is included as well as screening patients for suitability. The module then discusses the role of nutrition for all bariatric surgery stages including pre and post-operative nutrition management, micronutrients and macronutrients targets, common deficiencies and complications post-surgery. New behaviours for a bariatric patient in order to significantly improve their long-term health and weight success post-surgery is included. A case study reinforces the module content.