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Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management—Course Learning Objectives


Self-Study Module 

After completing the self-study module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the current prevalence of overweight and obesity.
  • Identify risk factors and diseases associated with overweight/obesity
  • Identify genetic, biologic, and environmental contributors to weight status
  • Define body mass index and waist circumference, and identify indications for use.
  • Define and distinguish among healthy weight, overweight, and obesity.
  • Distinguish among key methods used to measure body composition.
  • Recognize current evidence-based recommendations for assessment and treatment of weight management ADA Adult Weight Management Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guidelines, (NIH/NHLBI Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, Position of The American Dietetic Association:  Weight Management).
  • Be aware of techniques (and their limitations) used to assess dietary intake in overweight and obesity.
  • Identify behavioral predictors of successful weight maintenance based on outcomes of the National Weight Control Registry.
  • Recognize current research evaluating the efficacy of leading popular diets and diet approaches for weight management.
  • Identify the components of Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) and its relation to obesity.
  • Describe and begin to apply counseling skills important to successful client weight management.
  • Be aware of emerging research, issues and non-traditional approaches to weight management.
  • List at the current public health guidelines for moderate and vigorous physical activity for adults. 
  • Distinguish between the amount and type of physical activity recommended for general health benefits and for weight management.
  • Cite at least three ways policies, environments, and/or systems can be changed at the community-level or higher to reduce or prevent obesity.

Onsite Program

After completing the onsite program, participants will be able to: 

Current Research and Future Possibilities in Overweight and Obesity 

  • Recognize the prevalence and epidemiology of overweight and obesity (in general and specific to ethnic and special population groups).
  • Identify the leading biologic, genetic, and environmental contributors to overweight and obesity.
  • Identify medical conditions or diseases associated with obesity and describe health benefits associated with weight reduction.
  • Describe key theories related to the etiology of overweight and obesity.
  • Understand basic endocrinology and biological factors regulating energy intake and body weight (eg, leptin, insulin, gut peptides, grehlin, and brain neurotransmitters).
  • Describe Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) and its relation to weight status and treatment of obesity.
  • Understand the impact of weight status (weight maintenance, weight gain, and weight loss) on quality of life, mortality, and overall health related outcomes and medical costs.
  • Recognize emerging trends in the treatment of overweight and obesity.
  • Recognize and apply seminal and recent research in the treatment of overweight and obesity. 

Nutrition Management of Overweight and Obesity 

  • Apply evidence-based guidelines in assessing and managing overweight and obesity.
  • Identify clinical, functional/quality of life, and behavioral data used in assessing patient/client’s weight status and response to nutrition therapies.
  • Identify and interpret laboratory data, vital signs, and other clinical tests specific to risk and complications associated with overweight and obesity.
  • Apply the technique used to measure waist circumference and discuss its application in the overweight and obese population.
  • Recognize clients who may have contraindications for weight management treatment.
  • Recognize and apply validated methods for determining energy requirements in determining nutrition prescription for weight loss/management.
  • Apply techniques to determine a patient/client’s readiness and motivation to begin/maintain weight management treatment (eg, strategies to assess readiness, motivational interviewing (e.g., “Ruler Method”), and stages of change.
  • Develop a weight management plan based on patient/client goals/expectations and evidence-based interventions.
  • Provide nutrition education and nutrition counseling using Patient-Centered Care and the health literate care model.
  • Provide follow-up and document MNT outcomes to evaluate progress. 

The Skinny of Popular Diets

  • Review benefits of intensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss and weight loss maintenance
  • Review efficacy of macronutrient distribution of popular diets
  • Identify key resources for evaluating popular diets
  • Review the evidence for use of meal replacements for portion management in weight management
  • Review research from some leading commercial weight loss programs
  • Examine changing role of RD in lifestyle management

Role of Physical Activity In Weight Loss and Maintenance 

  • Understand the dietetics professional’s role in promoting physical activity as part of weight management programs.
  • Distinguish and translate for patient/clients the difference between exercise and lifestyle physical activity.
  • Understand the physiological role physical activity plays in the various stages of weight management (weight loss versus weight maintenance).
  • Identify and distinguish the role aerobic and strength-training types of physical activities have on weight loss/weight maintenance.
  • Provide strategies for integrating and accumulating physical activity as part of patient/client’s weight management program.
  • Understand and apply current evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for physical activity.
  • Identify and apply tools for assessing readiness and medical clearance for physical activity programs (eg, PAR-Q, Physical Activity Questionnaire).
  • Identify self-monitoring tools for assessing activity level and energy expenditure (eg, pedometers, physical activity records).
  • Identify when to refer to other health professionals (exercise specialists/physician). 

Behavior Management of Obesity

  • Understand and implement key principles of behavioral management.
  • Understand and implement strategies for providing information to clients.
  • Assist patients/clients in establishing realistic/achievable weight loss goals and treatment outcomes.
  • Identify personal biases and potential barriers/attitudes toward counseling patient/client’s that are overweight and obese.
  • Establish a therapeutic relationship conducive to promoting patient/client behavior change.
  • Understand and apply behavioral treatment strategies for facilitating behavior change short and long-term (e.g., self-monitoring, stimulus control, cognitive restructuring, problem-solving, stress management, social support, contingency management, relapse prevention).
  • Identify and apply behavioral treatment strategies in managing issues related to adherence.
  • Identify and apply attributes of effective counseling skills. (e.g., open-ended questions, goal setting).
  • Identify when to refer to other health professionals (psychologist, behavioral specialists/physician).
  • Recognize and apply tools for facilitating self-management training and behavior change. 

Life Transitions and Weight Control

  • To describe key life stages that are associated with unintentional weight gain: pregnancy, infancy, puberty, early adulthood, menopause.
  • To describe the pathophysiology of life stages and factors (including dietary and activity) contributors to risk for weight gain.
  • To promote primary prevention of weight gain during these at risk periods of the lifecycle.

Medical Complications and Pharmacotherapy in Overweight and Obesity 

  • Be able to identify obesity-related medical complications
  • Identify the current FDA approved medications prescribed for weight loss and be able to describe the “off label’ use of medications for weight loss.
  • Recognize commonly prescribed medications that may cause/exacerbate weight gain.

Nutritional Care of the Bariatric Surgery Patients 

  • Be able to describe the most common bariatric procedures performed in the U.S. today and the known mechanisms of action.
  • Identify short and long-term health related risks and benefits associated with bariatric surgery procedures.
  • Recognize and apply evidence-based research demonstrating the outcomes and efficacy of bariatric surgery.
  • Assess patient/client eligibility criteria and indications for surgical treatment intervention.
  • Recognize the progression of food and meal planning through the various stages following bariatric surgery to optimize nutritional status and a healthy weight loss.
  • Understand the need for specific nutritional supplementation following bariatric surgery.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Dietary Supplements in Weight Management

  • Identify the current trends in the use of dietary supplements for weight management.
  • Identify the roles of FDA and FTC regarding dietary supplements.
  • Identify natural substances commonly used in dietary supplements for weight management.
  • Access evidence-based information for evaluation of select dietary supplements.
  • Assess supplement safety and efficacy in the context of the nutrition care process and with the interprofessional team.

Role of Public Health in Obesity Prevention

  • To describe the differences between developing initiatives that affect hundreds of people (programming) and those that affect a population (policy).
  • To identify three regulations a city, state or federal government has already developed in order to help improve the nutritional environment 
  • To understand the rationale and processes for taxing unhealthy foods and for increasing access to healthy foods.
  • To identify the importance of both increasing access to healthy foods and decreasing access to unhealthy foods.

Technology and mHealth in Lifestyle Intervention

  • Review impact of internet in weight management
  • Review impact of social media in lifestyle intervention
  • Identify some applications of technology for self-monitoring, social support and education
  • Review evidence regarding use of technology in lifestyle management and  weight loss
  • Identify an application for self-monitoring for practice setting