PHN For Diabetes Services

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Question :

University: Curtin University

Code: NUTR6000 and NUTR6009

Aim: Enable students to advocate for PHN services for a particular scenario of relevance to individual student’s interests/background or course of study.


You are current working in a health service area or public health unit as a non-nutrition health professional.  You are aware there would be value in having a public health nutritionist services and a public health nutritionist on staff.  Currently there is no public health nutritionist position or services.  The health service you work for has similar demographic, cultural and health statistics to the Australian population.  


•  You may be already working in a health service or public health unit or organization and like to take this as your scenario.

•  If you have some other idea for a scenario related to your research intentions discuss with the unit coordinator.

•  If you intend to live in another country and work in that region then you may like to use this as your scenario.

•  If enrolled in Grad Dip Food Science & Tech or Masters Food Technology you may like to consider the value of a public health nutritionist for a Food Company –discuss further with unit coordinator.

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Answer :


The nutrition is relative study of science that tells how the body does use food. This studies for the interactions within the living organisms as well as food. The nutrition is the food that people eat for their sustain , the air that people breath, the water that human drink and the supplements that people ingest along with everything that are for feeding for the health benefits. The dietitian has the role to provide effective diet suggestion for the people at the care service. This is the duty of a nutritionist to provide the relative information and suggestion.  For a patient having diabetes requires certain kind of nutrition for keeping the health in immaculate condition. 

In the recent times, the nurses in the care service provide effective nutrition care to their patients. The nurses were for preparing the diet for the patients and monitor as well as assess the potential impact on the nutrition intake for their recovery as well as well-being. However there is requirement of proper nutritional value with correct nutrition supplements in the body and for this the nutritionist are trained for providing effective nutrition suggestions to the patients in different situation of health condition. This study has the aim to focus on the public health nutrition and requirement of a nutritionist in the PHN for diabetes services. 

Problem of Diabetes - the statistics

The diabetes is the disease where the ability of the body for producing or responding towards the hormone insulin is impaired, this results to the abnormal metabolism of the carbohydrates, and further this elevates the glucose level in human body. The diabetes is the problem where the patient having the same cannot perform as the normal human as there hormonal insulin disorder resulting in the inaccurate metabolic reactions within the body and there are requirements of various nutrition in order to sustain effectively with the normal daily life (Musso et al. 2017)

Thus, the diabetes is the disease, which has the dietary requirements, which can help the human to manage with their physical condition. The diabetes is the health disorder, which affects the process the body, utilizes the food to form energy. In normal the sugar within the foods which human consume, is digested as well as broken down into simpler form of sugar, which is known as the glucose.  The glucose dopes circulates within the blood and waits for entering into the cells as get utilized as the body fuel. There is body hormone called as the insulin, which is produced by the help of pancreas and helps to move the glucose within the cells. The health pancreas does adjust the quantity of insulin that is based over the glucose level in human body. When there is diabetes issue in the human body the process of producing insulin and correct metabolism gets break down and the blood sugar level gets too much high. This creates issues, facing difficulties in daily life. 

In order to provide effective solutions to the diabetes patients at the care services there necessary to have properly informed nutritionist who can indicate which nutrition would be helpful for which kind of patients having the diabetes issues (
Angellotti & Pittas, 2017). There are dietary requirements, which help patients to manage their ill condition. There are certain eating suggestions for the diabetes patients. The patients must eat balanced meals as well as snacks in the regular basis and schedule. There must be monitoring over the carbohydrate intake.  The diabetes patients must control their body weight and get some regular exercise. 

The nutritionist has the knowledge for various issues with the human body relates to the food consuming. This would be effective to get suggestion from the nutritionist and eat accordingly, which can help sustain with proper life and for longer time.
There is various nutritional related risks for the diabetes patients. When the diet comprises of various glucose providing substance are present within the foods that a diabetes patients eats there are  wide scope of not forming the energy from those and create ill metabolic reaction and resulting in the poor insulin production from the pancreas of the human body. As opined by 
Patusco, Michael, Nallapati, & Ziegler, (2017), the blood cells gets more sugar level and the insulin cannot supply at better level to control them resulting to the high blood glucose levels. 

There are huge issues at the population of the Australia with the diabetes problem and this requires much treatment to them with proper nutritional elements. There are various issues with the culture, demography and health statics among the Australian people. There are much discrimination among the indigenous people and other community people. As a result the people lack is getting the health related treatment and the nutritional values are overlooked by the health care services at different levels.  The people of Australia get under nutrition. This results in the reduced immune system and function. There are exposures to the pathogens within the environment (
Halperin, & Feig, 2014). This also leads to the infectious disease causing prolonged illness. There are losses of appetite. This creates poor absorption of food and increased energy requirements to people facing the health disorder related to the diabetes.

Graph showing diabetes mortality

Figure: diabetes mortality

(Source: Marincic et al. 2017)

The above statistic indicates that the Australia is facing the mortality rate quite higher than other countries with great effect of diabetes. This shows that the people do not get proper treatment as well as nutrition for their food intakes and resulting to which they face the mortality.

The person at the Australia does not get complete treatment by every service care service for health related issues. The aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islander people do get discrimination as a result they do not get effective treatment and resulting to which they have more mortality rate. The non-nutritional health professional can provide treatment to the people however; the health care centre requires nutritionist for providing the treatment with proper nutritional elemental foods for the patients having the diabetes issues (
Horwitz et al. 2016). The diabetes patients do not take nutrition as the normal people and for this; there are requirements of professional nutritionist at the health care centers of Australia.

Diabetes and vulnerable population

The diabetes is the disease, which occurs to the aboriginal people of Australia at greater rate than other people living in Australia. The aboriginal people have the greater risks of having the heart disease along with this; they are more prone to have the diabetes than other people are. The people of aboriginals eat as well as drink too much junks that brings type 2 diabetes along with heart related disease, cancer and fatty liver disease. There are no spaces of the junk foods within the healthy diet (Shah, Kaselitz & Heisler, 2013). The diabetes patients require much cared food intake habits and for this, the nutritionist plays the vital role to provide according foods with correct nutritional values. The aboriginal people gains 6.5 kilograms every year. About 41 percent of aboriginals eat junk food and sugary drinks. The aboriginals spend about 58 cents of every dollar over the junk food and sugary drinks. About 36 percent of aboriginal children consume sugary drink at age three. 

Hence, the aboriginal people do have three times more likely having diabetes than those of non-aboriginal people living in Australia do.There are about 16 teaspoons of sugar within a 600-milliliter of regular bottle of soft drink. Two among every five aboriginal people drink this kind of sugary drink in any given day. They also eat the meat pie, which serves as the junk food and 4 teaspoons of fat. Thus, these are more prone to the diabetes. According to Vogliano, Steiber, & Brown, (2015), the nutritional values in the food can be stated by a well-trained nutritionist who can provide better information of the dietary nutrition for the patients with diabetes for better treatment at the health care services in Australia. 

What is a Public Health Nutritionist

A public health nutritionist works in a similar manner of a dietician but the focus lies not in the individual diet needs of people but on the health and nutrition need of  a particular population. Therefore, the primary function of  a PHN in the Diabetes Services would be to focus on the nutritional needs of the diabetic patients of the population (Baum, 2016). It is important to understand the nutritional needs of the diabetic patients as the required diet for these patients are indeed different from the lot. The betterment through this deed can be achieved via creating different policies and implementing changes in the diet plans of the affected people and provide required diet in the health care service organizations in order to enable good nutrition to the diabetic patients. The primary purpose of this health service is to therefore, create a safer and more nutritional diet plan for the affected lot in order to meet their nutritional needs and to fight this epidemic that is emerging effectively (Baum, 2016).

What would a Public Health Nutritionist do for Diabetes services 

Based on the recent researches it can be stated that the diabetes services have many such areas that requires to be worked on. In Australia the number of diabetic patients is increasing rapidly. Therefore, it is important for the Diabetes services and the health care services which provide effective care and protection plan for the diabetic patients to study and research on the nutritional needs of the diabetic patients of different ages (Geissler & Powers, 2017). Diabetic patients can be classified in several population based on their age. Evidently, the nutritional needs of the people of different age groups vary from each other.

As per the opinion of the diabetic experts this particular population often falls prey to malnutrition due to irregular food habits. Diabetes is a disease in which the intake of different nutritional elements depends on a particular measurement. Thus, it is important to plan the diet of the diabetic patients accordingly (Moubarac et al, 2013). In order to take action in public health individual action is required in each stage. For example in the community service it is critical to identify the individual needs rather than it is easier to distinguish the patients according to their age and diabetes types in order to implement their diet plan accordingly. One of the integral components of diabetes management is medical nutrition therapy (Popkin, 2015). Moreover, as far as medical or clinical practice is considered nutrition evidence needs to have supporting evidence in order to implement proper nutrition plan for the patients.

As  a PHN the primary duty is to identify the nutritional needs of the population. In Australia diabetes is an emerging epidemic and the affected people do not only belong to the aged population of the country (NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, 2016). As the clinics and healthcare services provide services to both the younger diabetes patients and the older diabetes patients, it is important to plan and identify the different nutritional needs of these two groups. Another important thing that requires attention is that diabetes is of two types. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes and both of these two require different diet plans according to the nutritional needs of the patients. Type 1 diabetes is generally encompasses the type of diabetes which is primarily occurs from the pancreatic beta cell destruction and the patients in this case are prone to ketoacidosis. Type 2 diabetes primarily range from predominant resistance of insulin and is associated with predominant secretary defect related to insulin resistance. In accordance with the evidence that identifies different population affected to diabetes the position statement needs to be defined. The goals and the objectives of the medical nutrition therapy for the diabetic patients include:

Attaining and maintaining the optimal metabolic outcomes which measure the blood glucose levels in the normal range in order to decrease the risk factors which are associated with this disease. It is also important to check the lipoprotein and lipid profile of the affected population and the comparing the two profiles based on their age and food habits (Franz,Boucher & Evert, 2014). In order to lower the risk of macrovascular disease. It is also important to scrutinize the blood pressure levels in order to reduce the risk of the vascular diseases.

The public health nutritionist attempts to:

  • obtain the prevention and the treatment of the chronic complicated factors of diabetes through implementing necessary nutritional plans for the affected population.
  • Improve the overall health by meeting their nutritional needs through healthy food choices and physical activity.
  • Address the individual nutritional needs considering the cultural and personal preferences and the individual lifestyle and recommend possible change of the lifestyle considering every individual’s choice and willingness to change (Popkin, 2015).

As far as the specific situation is considered PHN aims to implement the following nutritional therapy:

  • Providing adequate energy for the youth suffering with type 2 diabetes in order to ensure their normal growth and development.
  • To provide and facilitate possible changes in the eating and physical activities of the youth affected with type 2 diabetes.
  • In case of the pregnant and lactating women who have been identified with diabetes providing adequate energy and nutrients required for healthy outcomes.
  • Providing self management and education for the reduction and treatment of hypoglycemia for the individuals who are treated with insulin. 
  • For adults providing special care and nutritional and psychological needs.
  • For the individuals who are not identified with diabetes but are at risk of diabetes, decreasing the possible risk by encouraging them with physical activity and promoting healthy food choices that can facilitate moderate weight loss.

Benefits of improving nutrition in diabetes services

It is important to improve the nutrition plan for the diabetes services as preventing diabetes majorly depends upon implementing and maintaining proper diet that can provide required energy and at the same time helps in the decrease of the insulin level. Improving nutrition for the diabetes affected people benefit the people in many ways(Popkin, 2015). The benefits include:

  • Improved health outcomes of the population.
  • A healthier workforce indicates improvement of the diabetes services.
  • Extended life for the diabetes affected people.

As per the reports the diabetes affected people are prone to unhealthy diet plans and because of their lack of food options they often fall prey to confusion regarding their diet. It is important for the patient care providers to identify the diet needs of the patients. Thus, PNH can help the service providers with required research and evaluation with the necessary information regarding the diet needs. 

It has been found that healthier eating pattern helps in the reduction of the diabetes and kjit also provides benefit which is not depended on other lifestyle changes. As per the studies improving the overall quality of one’s diet helps in the prevention of t5he type 2 diabetes(Popkin, 2015). People who have improved the diet quality have significantly reduced the chances of diabetes. Therefore, it is important to encourage people in eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables rather than the processed ready to eat food items(Moubarac et al, 2013). Diabetes is a disease which can not be cured completely but the sugar level in the blood indicates the chances of risk. Therefore it is important to maintain the sugar level accordingly. Change in the eating habits can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20% it is also important to record the healthy eating index in order to improve the overall development of the healthy population.

One of the primary functions of the Diabetes Services is to provide a proper diet plan for the patients and encourage them to follow the plan accordingly. In order to implement and create new plans the services require proper research and the patients and the people in need of care require motivation to follow the plan accordingly(Popkin, 2015). Therefore, improving the nutritional plan can evidently prove to be beneficial for the improvement of the overall population health. Diet is associated with diabetes in a primary level and it requires proper attention in order to reduce the future risks which are associated with diabetes. As per the researches of the medical experts following and maintaining a diabetes friendly diet plan itself reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes without any major changes in the habits and lifestyle of the affected people. It is important make the patients aware of the proper diet substitutes of unnecessary carbohydrates(Moubarac et al, 2013). Other than that they need to be motivated in the consumption of the protein based meals and also consume less red meat and sugar sweetened beverages along with that other ready to eat foods which increases the risk of diabetes.

Therefore, overall it is necessary to maintain and follow a healthy diet plan in order to decrease the chances of diabetes. For the diabetic population it reduces the chances of future risk.


Public health nutrition is the area for concentration that emphasizes the application of the food as well as nutrition knowledge, research and policies in order to improve the population health in Australia. The nutrition is for the health physique of people and living organism.  The nutrition is the elements that are essential for every living organism in order to have better physical condition and without any potential diseases.  The nutritionists have the role to analyze the nutrition requirements of human, which is essential for proper sustaining in the environment. 

The nutrition is for health and health is for wellness. The dietitian is the person who is trained with proper dietary knowledge, which is suitable for the people at their different age and weight and physical conditions. However, the dietitian does not play the entire role in providing the nutrition suggestion to the people. Thus, this can be concluded of the fact that the nutritionist has the major role to play at the health care services in order to make effective treatment and dietary supply to the patient having diabetes.