Exactly 136 years ago, Argentinean physician Dr. Pedro Escudero was born (1877-1963). He is the founder of the nutrition profession in Latin America and in order to evocate his contribution, every August 11th (the day he was born) the Nutritionist’s Day is celebrated in most Latin-American countries. He made the first move in nutrition and dietetics in the region!
Escudero visited diverse institutions in the United States of America and in Europe (especially those dedicated to the study and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases) and selected from them what suited the needs of the Argentineans. After fighting arduously to surmount the indifference and opposition, he founded the National Institute of Nutrition in 1928 and the School of Dietetics in Buenos Aires in 1933, the first in Latin America. Then, in 1938 it was upgraded to the National School of Dietetics and gave scholarships for each country of the region, in such a way that the first dietitians of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, had graduated in the Argentinean school. Afterward, each country created its own school according with their individual needs.
In Argentina, the term dietitian (“dietista”). The health professional expert in food and nutrition comparable to the RD is the Licentiate in Nutrition (“Licenciado en Nutrición”). In Latin America, “nutritionist” is considered a broader term that accurately covers the wide scope of practice: clinical nutrition, food service management, community nutrition, education and research.
So, today is a special day to remember Dr. Escudero and to reflect about our past, present and future to make the most of the upcoming opportunities. Very proud of being Licenciada en Nutrición, ¡Feliz día del Nutricionista!
Source: BARRITTA DE DEFRANCHI, Romina L y NELSON, Jennifer K. Evolución y tendencias del profesional nutricionista en los Estados Unidos de America y en Argentina: Norte y Sur unidos por desafíos similares. ALAN, jun. 2009, vol.59, no.2, p.113-119. ISSN 0004-0622.
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