Davida Kleinman: How She Balances Being a Nutritionist And a Bucks Professor

Tatiana Gordon, Centurion Staff

Davida Kleinman is a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Eat Right Bucks County and an Upper Bucks professor teaching a nutritionist class. Eat Right Bucks County is a medical group practice located in Doylestown.
More than 36.5 percent of adults struggle with obesity in today’s society and this obesity has a number of health risks such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer which could be a leading cause of death.
The medical costs for people with obesity are astronomical, totaling up to $147 billion, and the cost for individuals dealing with obesity is $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
Kleinman guides each patient she sees to get them to a weight that is healthy and manageable so that these types of health risks can be avoided.
Today, she is meeting with Sarah Uricchio, 21, pre-k education major for her nutritionist appointment at Eat Right.
Uricchio was at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Uricchio had an annual weight check at a pediatric appointment about a year or two ago. The doctor noticed Sarah’s weight and the fact that her weight wasn’t where it should be. The doctor suggested that Sarah visit a dietitian to guide her with her weight loss.
Kleinman graduated from Delaware University with a Bachelor’s Degree in science and nutrition and dietetics. After graduating, she went to Immaculata University and earned her Masters. She then completed her internship working in nursing homes and a rehabilitation center in Philadelphia.
Kleinman works with with parents, children and families. She says, “I believe that it’s never too late to make positive changes in your diet.”
Kleinman can relate to a lot of the clients in that she struggled with weight loss herself as a child. She learned to cut back on foods with a lot of calories and substitute snacks with healthier choices.
Uricchio fills out an initial assessment form and Davida is required to hand these forms out prior to the appointments.
Kleinman specializes in patients with at risk for diabetes, those that have high cholesterol and women who are pregnant. These are things she focuses on.
She tries to get personal with each patient and tries to reinforce patients to continue what they are doing because when patients go on their diet, a lot of times they go back to their old habits.
In her appointments, she talks about ways to eat better and how to portion meals. Substituting carbs and packaging portion stuff? Can guide you into losing weight.
Kleinman says, “It’s these little changes over time that can amount for a lot. Slow and steady wins for the most part and I highly suggest you don’t focus on the scale and the number on the scale because everybody’s body type is different. You have to be comfortable in your body type.”
Uricchio changes the topic and uses hand gestures as she is talking to Kleinman about what she’s been doing lately to improve her diet.
She swings her glasses in her hand as she says, “I’ve been trying to buy cheaper products at Walmart and certain snacks like red mill oats are filling containing a good amount of fiber. You don’t really need a whole lot of it to fill you up which is great.”
Kleinman calmly writes down a list of what a diet should look like for Uricchio starting with what Uricchio should have for breakfast and ending with what she should have for dinner.
For breakfast, Uricchio should try to have something light like eggs and a Kind bar. Eggs have a lot of protein. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it starts up your metabolism.
For lunch, Uricchio is allowed to have a healthy sandwich on a whole grain roll. She can have a healthy snack for lunch as well.
Uricchio should avoid having late dinners and she shouldn’t have a meal past 7 p.m. For dinner, she can have a soup or a salad.
Kleinman says that Uricchio doesn’t have to totally give up on eating the foods that she loves but limit quantities. It is fine to have ice cream for dessert once in a while but it is important to follow the serving size and be aware of the calorie intake.
Kleinman teaches at the Upper Bucks campus and most students in her nutritionist class are majoring in nursing. The class is very different from her appointments at Eat Right Bucks County.
She uses a canvas site and for the textbook, she has students using MCgraw which is an online textbook. She adds to this saying, “It’s an excellent tool for my students because it forces them to read and take the test afterwards.”
In her classes, she talks about nutrition and the history about nutrition. She also discusses the science behind it. She gets into the micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. Then she discusses the nutrition life cycle which lasts from childhood into adulthood.
Living a healthy life style pays off in the long run and saves individuals from dealing with certain health risks such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and etc. It also, saves people from spending more than they have to because of their weight.
It’s important to seek a medical nutritionist and dietitian before the individual finds out he or she has a stroke, diabetes and etc. It’s the nutritionist’s job to prevent these health risks from occurring so, don’t be afraid to seek help.