Dietitians are nutrition champions, who are experts in food and nutrition. They provide medical nutrition therapy for a variety of conditions including diabetes and obesity.
WSD enlisted Victoria Silvestro as its full-time senior dietitian to the team in 2023.
Diabetes Australia recommends that everyone with diabetes receives individualised dietary education and advice from a dietitian. Based on the clinical demand, WSD Dietetics has expanded to cover 4 clinics across both Blacktown and Mount Druitt, including individual consultations and group education sessions. The group education cover an overview of diabetes and nutrition, as well as weight management.
Western Sydney is a hotspot for diabetes with about 100,000 people with diabetes and an additional 30% of the adult patients living within the district being prediabetic.
In line with Diabetes Australia, WSD Dietetics has the ambition that all those who are prediabetic and diabetic receive education and personalised advice. Although, WSD Dietetics has expanded clinics, we are unable to meet to provide education and individualised dietary care to all those in our catchment.
Most patients referred to us are complex, often on insulin or need an injectable. For several years, WSD utilises flash Continuous Glucose Monitor (fCGM) for effective diagnostic, education, and management insights into glycaemic control. Dietary advice and intervention can be much more logical to the patient and the dietitian in conjunction with a CGM.
A healthy diet is an essential part of diabetes management. It can help manage blood glucose (sugar) levels and achieve a healthy weight. The dietitian’s overall ambition is to have all those who have type 2 diabetes and those who are pre-diabetic receive lifestyle education and support to help improve their overall blood sugar readings. As it is the belief that the only way someone can make positive changes if they are educated on how to make these changes. WSD Dietetics will be providing education to the general public through hospital stalls and various small group sessions across the WSLHD catchment. Working with Workers Blacktown has provided a fantastic opportunity to educate the masses.
Resources are a key tool for gathering and educating patients.
WSD Dietetics has developed 4-day food diaries to gather dietary information which will be used to analyse against CGM AGP report.
The diary will be provided prior dietetic consultations, as this will enable a more accurate description of the patient’s dietary intake opposed to a dietary recall, which is reliant on memory.
Many patients living within Western Sydney have limited nutritional knowledge, cooking skills and finances has had a negative impact on healthy eating.
WSD Dietetics has developed a resource that focuses on healthy eating on a budget, which educates on low-cost, healthier options within the five food groups.