The goal of nutrition counseling is to help a person make and maintain dietary changes, to adopt a therapeutic diet, or to avoid nutrient-drug interactions. A n initial dietary assessment and interview provides the basis for identifying behaviors that need to be changed. Sometimes a person already has a good idea of what dietary changes are needed, but may require help making the changes. The practitioner and client work together to identify areas where change is needed, prioritize changes, and problem-solve as to how to make the changes.
Making dietary change is a gradual process. In making dietary changes, each individual's situation and background must be carefully considered. Factors that affect food decisions include an individual's ethnic background, religion, group affiliation, socioeconomic status, and world view.