What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian (RD), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and a nutritionist?
Have you been keeping up with the ADA?
To improve recognition of dietitians as our nation’s nutrition experts, the ADA has renamed themselves to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition, registered dietitians now have the option to use the credential registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
Why did this happen?
While all registered dietitians are nutritionists, not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The new RDN credential recognizes registered dietitian nutritionists as being experts in regards to both diet and nutrition. This term more accurately reflects what registered dietitian nutritionists do.
Adding “nutritionist” to the registered dietitian credential is consistent with the addition of the word nutrition in the Academy’s new name, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It also communicates to everyone the broader concept of wellness and preventive health that are part of practice for many RDs.
The RDN credential is offered as an option to RDs who want to convey the nutrition aspect of the credential. Use of the RDN credential is optional.