A question I'm often asked is, "What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?" In my opinion, the difference lies in the depth, scope, length, and type of formal education and training. The term nutritionist isn’t regulated, so technically, anyone can call himself or herself a nutritionist, even with no formal training or certification.
Dietitian, specifically registered dietitian (noted by RD after one’s name), has a specific meaning. That title requires 1) a minimum of a four year college degree from an accredited university’s program that includes specific course work in human physiology, nutrition science, food service systems management, biochemistry, microbiology, and other sciences 2) a 1,200 hour supervised hands-on internship 3) passing a comprehensive examination and 4) completing ongoing continuing education. RDs are also held to a professional code of ethics.
Dietetics is also an incredibly broad field. All RDs start out with basic training, but most then specialize in a given area. Just as there are internists such as cardiologists, dermatologists, and pediatricians, there are RDs who work in hospitals in clinical dietetics, or specialize in disease states, and those who work in wellness.
Did you know that there are 5 Registered Dietitian's here at BODYMETRIX? We are here to help you with your health related goals from weight loss, to medical nutrition therapy, to healthy eating for yourself and your family.