Dietitian coming to Atlantic Superstore

Maureen Coulter
Published on March 23, 2014

Cathy Mackinnon, Atlantic Superstore assistant store manager, thinks it’s important to eat healthy. The Atlantic Superstore will be hiring a registered dietitian this spring.

© Guardian photo by Maureen Coulter

Eating healthy is at the forefront of many people’s minds these days and the Atlantic Superstore’s on P.E.I. is getting on board by hiring a registered dietitian this spring.

The dietitian will travel on a rotational basis to the four Atlantic Superstores on P.E.I.

Wednesday was National Dietitians Day and Loblaw’s, which owns the Atlantic Superstore, announced they will be hiring 19 new registered dietitians across the Atlantic region between April and June of this year.

Mark Boudreau, director of corporate affairs in Atlantic Canada for Loblaw’s, said it’s a big investment for them but they are willing to do it because it has worked well across the country.

“A part of our larger mandate as a company is to help Canadians live well and make healthier choices,” he said.

There are currently 75 dietitians who represent 150 Loblaw stores and the feedback has been positive, he said.

In a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, 90 per cent of customers said they would benefit from taking advice from a dietitian; however only one in four people in Atlantic Canada have ever consulted one, said Boudreau.

Jill Anne McDowall, community dietitian services manager with Health P.E.I., said she thinks there are a few reasons as to why some people are hesitant to go to a dietitian. Lack of access, not all insurance companies recognizing dietitians as a health claim and the misconception of what dietitians are able to offer are some reasons, she said.

“The scope of what dietitians do is way beyond the food guide, we look at the individual holistically,” she said.

A part of a dietitian’s responsibility is to look at the person’s health history and how food and nutrients have a role in all aspects of their health, said McDowall.

“It goes beyond the food guide and portion size,” she said.

Boudreau said the dietitian for the Atlantic Superstore in P.E.I. will talk with customers, do free one on one consultations and educate community outreach programs.

“We are addressing a need that customers feel is important.”

Cathy Mackinnon, Atlantic Superstore assistant store manager on University Avenue, said adding a dietitian to the staff is great idea and is looking forward to it.

“We think it’s a great thing for our store and for the customers.”

Mackinnon said she feels it’s important because people are eating much healthier than they used to. She hopes the dietitian will use their community room, make meals with customers and promote their PC product.

“You are helping the customer shop and you want to see customers be healthy.”