Dec 30, 2016

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

Now that the holidays are over and you made your New Year resolution to drop some post-holiday weight, think about this. A dietitian is an expert in prescribing therapeutic nutrition. A dietitian is accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist has completed an undergraduate program in nutrition and also a one year clinical internship program. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists must pass a national exam administered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and maintain their registered status through continuing education.

A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of knowledge can call themselves a nutritionist. A nutritionist can also be someone who completes an undergraduate or graduate degree in nutrition. Some individuals market themselves as nutritionists with little or no training in nutrition. Before you take nutrition advice, be sure to check out the professional background and training of the individual giving it.

Incidentally, 'Dietitian' spelling is preferred over 'Dietician' in the dietetics world, and the term Registered Dietitian has been updated to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, further confusing the distinction.