The Power of Language: Identifying and Eliminating Bias in Practice and Media


Language is a powerful tool. The emergence of social media, online resources, and virtual communications has amplified the need for precise, unbiased, and thoughtful language. RDNs/NDTRs possess a unique opportunity to educate and inform Americans about health-promoting behaviors and cutting-edge nutrition science while simultaneously shifting the societal conversation surrounding bodies and diet. Acknowledging potential bias and using informed language in counseling and media contributions will help to create a more inclusive community and potentially improve health outcomes. This session will provide a brief educational lecture before discussion between a registered dietitian in media, a psychologist specializing in health behavior change, and a linguist specializing in inclusive language and communication. These individuals work with and for Dotdash Meredith, the largest digital and print publisher in America that reaches over 200 million people. With great power comes great responsibility, particularly in terms of language. These experts will examine potentially harmful uses of language and common instances of bias and then demonstrate how to implement changes to create a more engaging, positive environment.

This sessions is approved for ethics credit by CDR.

Learning Objectives

Identify common instances of bias, including weight bias, access to care, ableism, gender bias, and ageism, in order to improve and change the language used

Demonstrate increased awareness of appropriate language to use with various patient populations

Describe how to improve communication and counseling styles by implementing tools learned during the session

Performance Indicators

2.1 Adapts communication methods and skills to meet the needs of audiences

2.2 Demonstrates effective communication skills

9.6 Applies behavior theories in nutrition counseling


Rachel Goldman

Licensed Psychologist, Speaker, and Consultant; Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Ps


Mackenzie Price

Director for Anti-Bias Initiatives

Dotdash Meredith

Eliza Savage

Associate Editorial Director, Verywell Fit

Dotdash Meredith


Rachel Berman

SVP, Group General Manager

Dotdash Meredith

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