Dietician and Nutrition

Stay Healthy with the Best Dietitian in Hong Kong

Nutritional health is an integral part of all medical specialties at Central Health. This is because, for many of our patients, the best way to improve long-term quality of life and reduce the risk of premature death is to change the way they eat, drink and exercise. Our nutritional advice is divided into two main areas: advice for specific medical conditions and weight loss or weight maintenance.

Our senior dietitian

Denise Fair is a leading dietitian who has a special interest in childhood nutrition. She manages all the usual nutritional problems, giving the best advice directly to patients and informally to our doctors, when asked. She works with Debbie Lovell, a behaviour therapist, and our family doctors, to manage patients with recalcitrant weight issues in Hong Kong.

The best dietitian for specific medical problems:

Allergies, food intolerances and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

Food allergies can cause severe reactions and symptoms. While testing can identify the allergen, and removal of that allergen from the diet may improve symptoms, it is important to substitute other foods to ensure the best possible nutritional intake. Food intolerance, even when not an allergic reaction, can also cause significant symptoms. Testing is not straightforward and determining which food is causing the symptoms can be complicated. A carefully constructed elimination diet and a detailed food diary can be used to help pinpoint common culprits in IBS and food intolerances.

Eating disorders:

Treating eating disorders is a multi-disciplinary effort between our dietitian, psychologist/psychiatrist and family doctor in Hong Kong. The dietitian's role is to alleviate fear of food, provide nutritional education, develop a balanced eating plan and gradually establish a healthy body weight. She works with patients to develop weekly goals that enable them to be a part of their own treatment, help them overcome their phobias and develop better eating patterns.

Child behavioral eating:

Picky children, or children with a limited diet, can develop micronutrient deficiencies that can affect their overall growth and development. After an initial evaluation of their current diet, a custom plan is made to help parents expand the child’s dietary repertoire and improve overall nutrition.

Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance:

Diabetes and impaired glucose intolerance, including problems developing during pregnancy, can seem overwhelming and confusing. A trip to the dietitian will help alleviate that anxiety. She will show you practical ways of controlling your blood sugars and modifying your overall diet. Dietary education and formulating a dietary plan is key to making this a manageable disease.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS):

There are many aspects to this syndrome, and diet does play a role in the treatment. A diet that is based on low glycemic index foods can best manage the hyperinsulinemia associated with PCOS and prevent excessive weight gain.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding:

During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, the nutritional needs of a mother increase. It is important to ensure that mothers are getting the best nutrition to ensure the proper growth and development of their baby. Any dietary restrictions or medical issues can also be more of an issue during this time and should be addressed.

Renal disease:

People with renal disease can have multiple dietary restrictions depending on the severity of the disease and the level of function of the kidneys. Research has shown that dietary intervention is required to manage renal disease, and also that dietary intake of certain nutrients and foods can affect the progression of the disease itself. Dietetic counseling is one of the best ways to improve overall health and to reduce the need for medical intervention.

Liver disease:

Similar to renal disease, nutrition and diet play a role in both treatment and progression of liver disease. Dietetic counseling is advised to help prevent further liver damage, improve function and even help with healing.

Chronic disease:

The management of most chronic diseases, genetic diseases, metabolic disorders and immunological disorders has a nutritional component. If a child or adult cannot eat adequately or has any dietary restrictions, it is advised to see a dietitian. Whether the problem is tube feeding, tolerance of only thin or thick consistencies, swallowing insufficiencies or just the inability to consume enough food to maintain an adequate weight, our dietitians and health care professionals can help.

Weight loss:

Weight loss is by far the most common, complex, controversial and difficult problem we are faced with as dietitians. At Central Health in Hong Kong, we take a team-based approach using the full range of therapeutic interventions available. In addition to the best nutritional advice, we use psychotherapy, behavior therapy, drug therapy and very occasionally, bariatric surgery.

Other issues:

Other problems that can be addressed by a dietitian include paediatric issues (such as failure to thrive) and eating issues around texture or swallowing, sports nutrition, vegetarian and vegan diets.

The best nutritionist

Despite (or perhaps because of) the impact of nutrition on our long-term health and well-being, it is sadly the area where we are most vulnerable to amateurs, charlatans and those with clear conflict of interest. Our dietitian has devoted her professional life to an evidence-based understanding of nutrition. She has a depth of experience with what works and what doesn't, and most importantly, is not trying to sell you anything other than her advice. The truth is that nutritional change requires commitment, self-knowledge, support and a huge amount of work.

For those of you who are fed up with looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and are prepared to embrace the above, a good start would be a consult with the dietitian Denise Fair, behavior therapist Debbie Lovell or one of our family doctors, with an interest in weight loss strategies in Hong Kong.

For those of you who are still looking for a quick fix, we can shorten the search and prevent some pointless experimenting, with diets that don't work please click here to make an appointment.