The difference between a Dietitian and "Nutritionist"

I often get asked…

What is the difference between a "dietitian" and "nutritionist"?

In order for someone to be a Registered and Licensed Dietitian- one would have to :

1) Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

2) Be accepted and complete a supervised practice consisting of 1200 hours (This alone takes  year!)

Add 2 more years for graduate school for me!  :)

The internship includes supervised practice in areas such as Medical Nutrition Therapy, Community Nutrition, Dialysis, Diabetes Management, Food Service, Sports Nutrition, Nutrition Counseling, Oncology and outpatient serves. 

3) The third and final step, is to pass the Registered Dietitian Exam!  

In some states, the title "nutritionist" is NOT regulated! Which means any Jo Shmo can take an online "nutrition" course and start providing nutrition counseling, without having a clue about physiology and biology.

Beware of those people!!!

It never hurts to ask where a person received their education from.

There are some educated people who DO know a lot about nutrition, and who can give great advice/counseling, and are not RD's. But, if you do have a specific medical disease or nutritional issue, then it's absolutely best to see a qualified Licensed and Registered Dietitian. 

Last thought- just like not all DOCTORS are the same….not ALL REGISTERED DIETITIANS are the same!!! So don't just group us all into one category. There is a reason we specialize and decide to work in certain areas like sports nutrition, pediatrics, MNT...

 So, if you are looking for a qualified dietitian to help you lose body fat, and get your eating behavior under control- you have come to the right place! ;)