Telenutrition Supporting Pediatric Health Enables a Life Well Lived

COVID-19 continues to overwhelm patients, healthcare providers, and, significantly, headlines. As the world keeps watch on reported COVID-19 cases and high-risk patients remain the focus of concern, clinical nutrition remains an essential component of treatment. Older adults and people with medical conditions are still considered “at increased risk for severe illness” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1  

However, more than preventing and alleviating a COVID-19 diagnosis, proper nutrition is essential for all patients and for preventing illness and living a healthy lifestyle. Sodexo registered dietitian Molly Mills at the Medical University of South Carolina explains that nutrition cannot be a last resort. Her special focus during her career as a registered dietitian with Sodexo has leveraged her passion for young people and encouraging an interest in good nutrition at an early age.  

In this time of social distancing, telemedicine has been more important than ever. Working with a young patient in South Carolina, Mills leverages telemedicine to ensure progress.  

“The telemedicine technology allows to see each other more frequently,” said Mills.  

Mills regularly works with adolescent patients undergoing bariatric surgery. Prior to undergoing surgery, Mills helps the young patients decrease their sugar intake, read food labels, and most importantly understand the significance of managing their nutrition for their overall quality of life. 

“She’s giving him a lot of tools. It shapes all of our choices,” said the patient’s mother. “I’ve learned a lot of healthy things I can do for the family.” 

“Family involvement is very important,” said Mills, citing the impact treating one patient via telemedicine has on an entire family. “It’s fun to help them get excited about nutrition…and take charge of their health.” 

“There are a lot of things in the world we can’t fix for him,” said the patient’s mother. “But this is something we can work on.” 

The past two years, Mills’ patients treated via telemedicine increased almost 300%. Monthly telehealth sessions help the patients’ family feel empowered to make decisions to keep active, safe, and avoid worsened medical conditions and extended hospital stays.

March 01, 2021