What is a Registered Dietitian?

I have had many people ask me “What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a registered dietitian?” Here is my answer:

Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts, translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. The expertise, training and credentials that back a registered dietitian are very different than those that call themselves a “nutritionist”. The title nutritionist is not regulated by the government, with that being said ANYONE can take 1, 2….10 nutrition classes/ seminars and call themselves a “nutritionist”. A Registered Dietitian goes through 4 years of a bachelors degree, a 1-2 year internship working in all aspects of nutrition and then finally taking a board exam at the end of schooling to become credentialed by the Commission of Registered Dietitians, and in many states must apply for licensure to practice nutrition.

According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration,

“Dietetics practitioners are licensed by states to ensure that only qualified, trained professional provides nutrition services or advice to individuals requiring or seeking nutrition care or information. Only state — licensed dietetics professionals can provide nutrition counseling. Non-licensed practitioners may be subject to prosecution for practicing without a license. Consumers in these states who are seeking nutrition therapy assistance need to be more cautious and aware of the qualifications of the provider they choose.”- Commission on Dietetic Registration

Registered dietitians draw on their experience to develop a personalized nutrition plan for individuals of all ages. They are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. Registered Dietitians practice evidence based nutrition which means everything that we are practicing is backed up by years of scientific based research. So know who you are working with!

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