What is the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

While nutritionist is a more commonly used term, the difference is huge. Simply put, all registered dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are registered dieitians. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist since the term isn’t legally protected. However, only a registered dietitian has completed a 4 year degree at an accredited university, participated in a 1,000 hour supervised dietetic internship and passed the national registration exam. In addition, dietitians must complete 75+ hours of continuing education every five years. In most states dietitians must be licensed as well. Dietitians are nutrition and food experts and work in a range of fields including: clinical dietetics, corporate health programs, healthcare institutions, foodservice operations, research settings and many more!

What can an RD do for me?

The majority of dietitians work in the prevention and treatment of diseases and are authorized to prescribe Medical Nutrition Therapy in the United States. You can consult with a Registered Dietitian if you have medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or just seek nutrition guidance for good health. To find a Registered Dietitian in your area, visit our professional association site the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org

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