New dietitian treatment model: De Leefstijldietist®

New dietitian treatment model: De Leefstijldietist®

We are pleased to introduce Ellen Govers, RD.

Thanks for joining us, Ellen tell us about De Leefstijldietist®   the Lifestyle Dietitian designation, which is registered for use in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. When was this specialist designation developed? What does it represent, and what are the criteria for achieving this designation?

The designation was developed in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 lockdown of March and April 2020.  The Dutch Knowledge Centre on Overweight and Obesity (KDOO) wanted to develop a clear designation for obesity specialized dietitians, who can offer skillful treatment for people with overweight or obesity, providing multiple levels of care. In the field of health care many under- qualified “lifestyle trainers” are presently providing treatment which may not be evidence based. We want to make a difference for patients.

It sounds like this new “quality care” label could be used as a new framework to improve the level of care provided by obesity dieticians across Europe.  

Yes, we think that it is important to improve quality in obesity management. We could use this model to set an example/benchmark care for practice in other countries.

Given the fact that obesity care and management is multidisciplinary by nature, what would the next steps be to integrate this approach within the clinical care framework?

The Lifestyle dietitian should function as a central figure in community-based obesity management, working closely with MDs, nurses, physiotherapists, physical activity trainers, community workers, psychologists and local health and social care services. We would propose that this multi-disciplinary approach to care (systems therapy) would be used to provide family support when children are involved.


Ellen Govers

Ellen is a primary care dietitian from the Netherlands. She has written several popular books on dietitics. In the scientific field she has published seven articles on insulin resistance and specialises in obesity and its comorbidities. Ellen has contributed to several scientific obesity guidelines.

She was member of the board of the Dutch Association of Dietitians. She has been involved in EFAD (the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians) since 2001 and currently sits as deputy chair of the ESDN Obesity.

In the Netherlands she presides over the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Overweight and Obesity (, a network for primary care dietitians. 


 PRESS RELEASE 13 October 2020 KDOO launches

De Lifestyledietist®

A protected title of the Dutch Knowledge Centre on Overweight and Obesity (KDOO)

The KDOO, is the NVD network of dietitians who are specialists in the first line of treatment for overweight/obesity and associated co-morbidities. They retrain on the latest scientific developments so that they can optimally treat their clients and work in a multi-disciplinary context.