What’s the Difference between a Dietitian vs a Nutritionist?

It seems these days everyone is an expert when it comes to nutrition. One day we hear carbs are bad for you and then the next carbs are good. Everyone has an opinion on what diet works best, from your Aunt Sally to the various influencers on Instagram. With so many different fad diets, it can be hard to filter through what actually works.

Lucky for you, that’s where a dietitian can help.

But what exactly is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

Remember this saying:

“All dietitians are nutritionists BUT NOT ALL nutritionists are dietitians”

There is no certification required to call yourself a nutritionist. The term nutritionist is not regulated, so anyone who talks about nutrition can call themselves a nutritionist. Those who have received some sort of background education such as undergraduate or masters degree in nutrition, health coaches, and even research scientists are more qualified to give general nutrition advice than the latest Instagram fit chick. However, because the term is not regulated, that leaves room for unqualified individuals to be dishing out wacky nutrition advice.

A registered dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist (RDN) has undergone extensive academic coursework in an undergraduate science-based nutrition program, completed a 1200 hour dietetic internship, successfully passed the RD exam (a nationally credentialed exam) and in 2020, incoming students will be mandated to obtain a Master’s degree. Most states require dietitians to be licensed through the board in order to practice as a dietitian. Dietitians are also required to maintain continuing education to stay informed and remain educated about the nutrition field. Dietitians are recognized as the experts in their field of food and nutrition.

Registered Dietitians have the ability to work in multiple settings. Dietitians can work in hospitals, dialysis clinics, outpatient centers, grocery stores, health departments, private practice, restaurants. And some of us even work at Remedy! The sky's the limit.

So, what is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist? Dietitians are held to a higher standard with various requirements and obtained a nationally recognized credential. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, but not everyone can call themselves a dietitian.

Did you hear? Remedy offers nutrition coaching! Contact Kyla by completing our contact form here and schedule your initial no-cost consult.

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