More Trainers Called On For Nutrition Advice

Have you ever asked a trusted trainer or your favorite spin instructor for diet advice? You're not the only one.

Turns out, trainers are often called on to dispense nutrition advice, according to a consensus from a pre-conference panel at this year's American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition.

"Although trainers may not be registered dietitians or have formal training or education in nutrition, they are in the trenches. They are the front lines and they are the people who can make a difference in this war on obesity and nutrition confusion," Kristine Clark, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences and director of sports nutrition at Penn State University, said in a statement. "The more you know, the greater the opportunity to communicate how to eat correctly."

With that in mind, Clark, along with several colleagues at the summit, emphasized the importance of making sure trainers and gym personnel had access to and training in healthful eating approaches. The panel recommended equipping trainers with information on the United States Department of Agriculture's MyPlate guidelines so that they could encourage using portion control, diversifying food selections and balancing macro-nutrients. And although clients are often looking to slim down, it's important for fitness professionals to emphasize the importance of "adequate fueling" before exercise, the panel said.

Do you ask your trainer or instructor for eating tips? Should trainers know more about nutrition?