Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

Well it’s official; I have my Master’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition and I’m a Registered Dietitian (RD)!! I passed my boards this week and graduated from my program this weekend! With that being said, I think it’s important I take this time to shine some light on the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist, as I think many are unsure there even is a difference.

First and foremost, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. An individual claiming to be a nutritionist is not required to have had any education or experience in nutrition, whereas dietitians have to have a least a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and they have to go through a rigorous 6-12 month hands on internship. They then have to sit for and pass an exam to obtain the RD credential, at which point they can start practicing. This process makes RDs the NUTRITION EXPERTS. I say this in order to protect those who may be getting advice from nutritionists who may have never taken a nutrition course in their life!

If you find you have any questions about this issue, please don’t hesitate to ask me. This website also has some great information on an RD’s qualifications: http://www.eatright.org/HealthProfessionals/content.aspx?id=6857.

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