Anna Kallianteri joined the UCO this August as Unit Leader and Clinic Tutor on the BSc (Hons) Integrated Nutrition & Dietetics course. As of this month, she will also be welcoming patients at the Integrated Nutrition & Dietetics Clinic on Southwark Bridge Road.
Anna trained as a Dietitian in Greece where she worked in private and public healthcare, as well as community settings since 2014, being exposed to a wide range of patients and health conditions. She then received training in eating disorders and obesity by the National Centre for Eating Disorders and Obesity, before obtaining an MSc degree in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health from the University of Bristol. As a student and throughout her professional career, Anna participated in numerous conferences and seminars related to this dynamic and highly evolving scientific field of nutrition and dietetics.
Anna is a qualified and Registered Dietitian (RD) in the UK, accredited by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Up until recently she has been working in the obesity department at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust. Her role involved the everyday care of patients attending Tier 3 (weight management through lifestyle) and/or Tier 4 services (Bariatric Surgery for weight loss) including pre- and postoperative patient care.
Anna also volunteers in various NGOs and community public health initiatives, encouraging children and adults to engage healthier lifestyles and promote general health and wellbeing. She is a strong advocate for contributing to physically and mentally healthier populations whilst implementing sustainable dietary and lifestyle choices.
We caught up with her to find out a bit more about her aspirations to become a dietitian and what her patients can expect from her in the clinic.
What motivated you to become a dietitian in the first place?
Since early childhood, food has always been an important part of culture and everyday life for me - from regular, big family meal gatherings to growing my own food later on, it had a big influence on my career choice. I became very curious about people's decisions on food choices and I was always fascinated to observe the impact that nutritional habits had on physical and mental health, and the fact that diet can frequently outweigh factors in promoting and maintaining good health and general well-being.
How do you think nutrition/dietetic advice can aid people’s health and wellbeing? Why is nutrition and dietetics so important?
Healthy eating and maintaining our body's nutritional needs are the fundamentals of a healthy and prolonged life. Dietetics and nutrition can educate individuals to make informed choices about their food and lifestyle in achieving both physical and mental health. It is simply an ongoing process of understanding our own bodies to not only overcome illnesses but also prevent major health implications to occur in the first place.
What should patients expect when they come to see you at the clinic?
At the UCO Clinic, we work with patients and service users to create a nutritional support plan tailored to individual's unique needs. Patients in the new integrated nutrition and dietetics clinic can benefit from a thorough nutritional assessment and a full body composition analysis. Through our examination and considering any existing health issues I can provide patients with individualised nutrition support according to your specific needs and lifestyle choices and can also offer the opportunity to design personalised meal plans based on personal targets and needs.
What unique skills have you got, and what services can you offer as a dietitian?
My background experience as a Dietitian is mostly centered around weight management, obesity and related comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia, and metabolic syndrome. I have also supported patients with mental health and disordered eating patterns, nutritional deficiencies, sports performance, and gastrointestinal conditions. Diet coaching is also a big part of my services, in other words, to educate people on how and why it is important to achieve optimal health through nutrition. Generally speaking, as Dietitians we can discuss any nutrition-related problems and guide individuals accordingly.
Who may benefit from your nutrition/dietetic services?
Individuals who wish to be educated towards incorporating healthy eating choices in their lives, people with weight-related issues, whose excess weight directly impacts on their lifestyle or affects their physical health and want to take control of their own bodies, and those who have been referred by their doctor or other healthcare professional, can all benefit from a consultation with me. I will go through and discuss with patients any physical and mental health symptoms that may be related to their nutritional choices in order to tailor a plan for the patient’s individual needs.
When are you available to see patients and service users at the clinic?
I’ll be available on a weekly basis on Tuesdays and Fridays. Times will vary so it’s best to check with the Clinic Reception team for availability. Please allow approximately 1 hour 30 minutes for your first appointment – this includes time to complete intake forms on arrival.