Registered Dietitian vs Nutritionist

Posted: Nov 21 in Nutrition by

Are you confused about the nutrition information you hear about these days? Seems like we hear something new every day and it is hard to know who to listen to. Next time someone gives you nutrition “advice” ask yourself “what are the credentials of this person giving me this advice?”
A nutritionist is typically someone who completes an undergraduate or graduate degree in nutrition. They may be working as a research scientist, health and wellness educator, professor at a university etc. Be aware that there are individuals who market themselves as “nutritionists” with very little or no training whatsoever in nutrition. They may be selling “nutrition products”at a health or fitness center . Before you take “nutrition advice”, be sure to check out the professional background and training of the individual giving it.
A Registered Dietitian (‘dietitian’ is the preferred spelling over ‘dietician’) or RD is a nutritionist accredited by the American Dietetic Association. An RD has completed an undergraduate program in nutrition and also a one year clinical internship program. RD’s must pass a national exam administered by the American Dietetic Association. RD’s must also maintain their registered status through continuing education and advanced degrees/certifications for areas of specialization. Examples of this might be a certification as a cardiac dietitian, nutritional support dietitian, sports nutritionist, or a certification for diabetes education.
RD’s are experts in areas of food and nutrition. If you need nutrition advice, seek the advice of a registered dietitian. You can do a search online at http://www.eatright.org and click on the link for “find a nutrition professional”. This is the official sight for the American Dietetic Association. You can be confident that the information offered on this website is accurate and valid. There are an overwhelming number of nutrition websites on the internet. Some of the information is indeed accurate, but there is also a great deal of nutrition misinformation on the internet. Check the source of the information given. Be aware that some of the nutrition information is sensationalized.
Finally, remember that at Clinical Nutrition Center, we are all highly experienced Registered Dietitians. Read more about the Registered Dietitians at CNC here.
-Lisa Ininns, R.D., C.D.E.

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