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Certificate of Training in Obesity Interventions for Adults

The new “Certificate of Training in Obesity Interventions for Adults” is based on an ever-learning model in which RDNs and NDTRs are supported in upgrading their competencies in adult weight management treatment and prevention. The model has three distinct phases of training:

Pre-work Modules

Learners will acquire foundational knowledge through readings, videos, case studies, worksheets, and quizzes. The modules are online and self-paced. Learners must complete the eight core modules (estimated 20-30 CPE hours) and pass a multiple choice test before attending the face-to-face workshop. Learners will have the option to choose elective modules (1-2 hours CPE each) prior to as well as after the workshop for an additional fee.

Core (required)
  1. Science of Obesity
  2. Diet and Nutrition in Overweight and Obesity
  3. Physical Activity in Overweight and Obesity
  4. Behavior Meodifiation and Counseling
  5. Medical Nutrition Therapy in Obesity
  6. Pharmacotherapy and Medical Complications of Overweight and Obesity
  7. Nutritional Care of the Bariatric Surgery Patient
  8. Weight Loss Maintenance
  1. Life Transitions and Weight Control
  2. Dietary Supplements in Overweight and Obesity
  3. Social Determinants of Health and Obesity
  4. Healthcare System Transformation and Obesity
  5. Weight Management Practice Management & Reimbursement
  6. Technology, mHealth and Telehealth in Weight Management Practice

Face-to-Face Workshop

Learners will be challenged to apply foundational knowledge through two days of highly interactive, skill-focused and scenario-type activities. A sample agenda (subject to change) is provided below. A certificate of training will be issued upon successful completion of the workshop post-test.  Fourteen CPE hours will be awarded for the two-day face-to-face workshop.

Tentative Agenda

Day One
Time* Topic
8:30-9:00 Welcome and Context Setting
9:00-9:45 Keynote Address
9:45-10:00 Break and movement session
10:00-12:00 Counseling Skill-Building(Part One)
  • Presentation and Practice
12:00-1:00 Lunch on own
1:00-2:45 Counseling Skill-Building (Part Two)
  • Presentation and Practice
2:45-3:00 Break and movement session
3:00-4:30 Case #1: Issues and challenges in providing WM MNT in a clinical outpatient setting
4:30-5:00 Wrap up of Day One

Day Two
Time Topic
8:30-8:45 Welcome and Review
8:45-10:15 Case #2: Issues and challenges in providing WM MNT in a community-based private practice setting
10:15-10:30 Break and movement session
10:30-12:00 Case #3: Issues and challenges in providing WM MNT for patients in a bariatric surgery setting
12:00-1:00 Lunch on own
1:00-2:15 Weight Management Leadership Opportunities for RDNs and NDTRs: Now and in the Future
2:15-2:30 Break and movement session
2:30-3:30 Case #4: Issues and challenges in providing WM MNT for patients in a primary care setting
3:30-4:00 Wrap-up and Planning
4:00 Adjourn

Significant time will be devoted to counseling skills as well as cases studies addressing commonly-seen issues in providing weight management MNT in clinical, private practice, bariatric, and primary care settings. The workshop will include sessions that inspire and support personal reflection for weight management self-learning and leadership.

Transfer of Learning
After attending the workshop, learners will be encouraged to engage in self-directed continuous learning in weight management. Recommendations for resources and communities of practice for advancing personal competencies will be provided.

Training Learning Goals


Participants will be able to:
Science of Obesity

  1. Understand the physiologic and metabolic consequences of visceral adiposity in overweight and obesity.

  2. Recognize the functions of adipose tissue as an endocrine organ and the metabolic implications.

  3. Understand liver fat as one of the major sites of visceral fat.

  4. Become familiar with the terms adipocytes, cytokines, adipokines, and their respective metabolic consequences observed in overweight and obesity.

  5. Understand genetic imprinting and intrauterine environment and the impact on rates of obesity.

  6. Describe the microbiome and the impact on obesity.

  7. Recognize the various hormones that regulate hunger and satiety and their roles in affecting appetite and body weight regulation.

  8. Describe physiological and metabolic changes associated with a weight loss, understand causes of a weight loss plateau, and potential causes of weight regain.

Diet and Nutrition in Overweight and Obesity

  1. Identify appropriate guidelines for adult weight management.

  2. Identify evidence-based tools for weight management for adults, such as portion control tools, meal replacements, and/or eating frequency.

Physical Activity in Overweight and Obesity

  1. Use current physical activity (PA) public health guidelines and evidence-based recommendations for physical activity in weight management as basis for creating PA interventions for various clients who are overweight or obese.

  2. Implement a complete physical activity assessment.

  3. Summarize RDN and individual scope of practice regarding physical activity interventions for people who are overweight or obese.

  4. Identify ways to stay current in PA research as it relates to obesity prevention and treatment.

Behavior Modification and Counseling

  1. Describe the behavioral skills and techniques used in Behavior Therapy (BT) to help clients modify eating and activity habits

  2. Describe cognitive skills utilized in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) approach to weight management

  3. Describe the differences between standard BT and CBT and the impact on weight management intervention

  4. Describe the spirit of motivational interviewing

  5. Describe the differences between individual and group counseling

  6. Use the key strategies to successfully facilitate groups

  7. Consider how weight-related behaviors may be influenced by ethnic differences, such as food preferences, symbolic psychosocial meanings of food, food related social roles and interactions and attitudes about physical activity, health and body size.

  8. Consider weight bias and its impact of quality of care.

  9. Assess the boundaries of self-disclosure when working with clients

  10. Exercises professional judgment within limits of her/his professional qualifications as to when to make referrals

Medical Nutrition Therapy in Obesity

  1. Describe the key components for nutrition-focused physical exam for weight management patients/clients.

  2. Define the key elements of the WM Standards of Practice/Standards of Professional Performance (SOP/SOPPs).

  3. Identify appropriate components based on the Nutrition Care Process (NCP).

  4. Identify opportunities using health information technology and clinical quality measures (CQMs).

  5. Identify recommendations for RDN self-disclosure and referral when working with WM patients/clients.

  6. Describe methods for conducting nutrition-related research.

  7. Describe AND's Dietetic Health Informatics Infrastructure (ANDHII).

Pharmacotherapy and Medical Complications of Overweight and Obesity

  1. Recognize pharmacotherapy as an obesity treatment option.

  2. Identify FDA approved weight loss medications.

  3. Utilize Obesity /American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Guidelines to indicate use of pharmacotherapy.

Nutritional Care of the Bariatric Surgery Patient

  1. Describe appropriate applications of bariatric surgery as a treatment option for obesity management

  2. Implement appropriate nutrition-related care for bariatric patients pre- and post-surgery.

Weight Loss Maintenance

  1. Recognize how the physiological and practical underpinnings of obesity treatment differ between the active weight loss phase and the weight loss maintenance phase.

  2. Determine how a RDN can work in an interdisciplinary way to improve long-term weight loss outcomes.

  3. Apply specific strategies to enhance weight loss maintenance success.

  4. Use counseling and behavior change strategies specific to increasing success in weight loss maintenance phase.

  5. Describe primary prevention strategies for obesity for individuals, organizations, and communities.

Face-to-Face Workshop
Participants will be able to:

  1. Apply understanding of pathophysiology and its impact on patient/client’s ability to lose and maintain body weight.

  2. Develop evidence-based recommendations for weight management when developing nutrition diagnoses, prescriptions and plans for diverse patients/clients, focusing on adults.

  3. Personalize nutrition interventions to include data from client assessment, preferences, and stage of weight loss.

  4. Refer as appropriate to other health and fitness professionals based on client needs and interests.

  5. Use appropriate patient centered counseling techniques to help clients to identify barriers and set client-specific goals.

  6. Use appropriate behavioral management techniques for clients based on their needs.

  7. Incorporate culturally appropriate behavior and weight neutral language.

  8. Demonstrate ability to solve common issues and problems that arise in group counseling sessions.

  9. Adapt weight management care plans as needed to optimize patient/client outcomes.

  10. Use appropriate trends/ resources to guide and support weight management treatment decisions and actions.

  11. Use critical thinking to problem-solve nutrition-related issues or concerns that arise during the use of bariatric surgery in obesity treatment.

  12. Adapt the nutrition care plan as appropriate for adults in the weight loss maintenance phase.

  13. Incorporate the weight management SOP/SOPP into weight management care plans.