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Certifiable in Obesity Care?

If obesity is such an important consideration for the health of Americans, how come it’s so hard to find healthcare professionals who are skilled in delivering obesity care? The short answer is that certifications for skilled providers have been scarce for a long time. But at the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FNCE), Molly Gee provided some encouraging news about progress toward an interdisciplinary certification in obesity and weight management.

The healthcare professionals participating in developing this credential include registered dietitian nutritionists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical exercise physiologists, licensed behavioral psychologists/therapists, and licensed clinical social workers.

The task force developing the credential is ready now to complete a practice analysis survey of all of these professions with regard to obesity and weight management. The results will guide the development of eligibility requirements for taking the certification exam and then guide development of the exam. The goal is to administer the first certification exam by the winter of 2017.

If all goes according to plan, by the middle of 2017, people who are looking for healthcare professionals with the skills needed to deliver evidence-based obesity care will start seeing CSOWM after the names of professionals who have become Certified Specialists in Obesity and Weight Management. Like physicians who are diplomates of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, these healthcare professionals will have passed a certification exam to prove their competence in delivering evidence-based obesity care.

We owe a debt of thanks to the Academy and its Commission on Dietetic Registration for thoughtfully developing this credential to meet a growing need.

Click here for Gee’s presentation and here for a webinar on the subject.

Life Certified Organic, photograph © WFIU Public Radio / flickr

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October 5, 2015

2 Responses to “Certifiable in Obesity Care?”

  1. October 05, 2015 at 6:35 pm, TM said:

    What about RNs who have bachelor’s degree and certified bariatric nurse designation? Will we be able to take training and exam

  2. October 06, 2015 at 8:04 am, Ted said:

    That’s a really good question. I suggest you email to interdisciplinary@eatright.org and let me know what you learn.