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Difference Between Dietician and Nutritionist

dieticianDietician vs Nutritionist

We often hear people using the terms dietician and nutritionist interchangeably. Though it is used interchangeably in many places, there are many differences in the designations, roles, and responsibilities of these professionals.

A nutritionist is a person who holds a degree in the discipline of nutrition. It can also be a doctorate degree. A dietician is a person who will have completed the concerned examination as well as an internship. These people are licensed to work and are known more as Registered Dieticians. They usually need a degree and post-graduate degree in the program. For the license, they must specifically pass the licensing exam.

Nutritionists are not professionals who are licensed by the state board. This does not mean that they work illegally. If they hold a bachelors degree, licensing is not required. But in the case of dieticians, the professionals cannot work without the licenses. If they do so, their practise is illegal. Non-licensed professionals usually use the designations of Dietary Educator or Diet Specialist.

A nutritionist is a person who can advise you on your balanced meals and health. This professional helps you in figuring out what diets are good for your body nature. A dietician helps you with your obesity problems. This professional is capable of giving you tips on how to lose weight and instruct diets specifically for the purpose.

Usually nutritionists work in the government health sectors like the health departments. Dieticians usually work in private and other hospitals and are usually better paid than nutritionists. They also work in the public health and community spheres, research, and academic domains as well. Those who practice privately offer one-to-one counselling as well.

Dieticians meeting the national standards specified for training and education can use titles like RD, RDt, or PDt. These professionals are held accountable by the law for the conduct and care provided by them to their patients. On the other hand, nutritionist is not protected by law everywhere. But the accredited nutritionists can have designations like Associate Nutritionists, Registered Nutritionist, and Associate Public Health Nutritionists.

In medical scenarios, dieticians provide the artificial nutritional requirements to the patients who are not able to consume the foods in the normal way. Dietary modification is a major section of the study and application of dietetics. These professionals usually prepare and serve the proper foods to the patients. A nutritionist elicits, disseminates, and promotes the knowledge on the effects of nutrition to people.

While seeking the professional advice of a dietician or nutritionist, you must check for the credibility of the profession. Self proclaimed dieticians and nutritionists can do harm to your body.

1.Dietician is protected by law but nutritionist is not protected by law in all countries.
2.Dietician deals majorly with the problems of obesity and diets for weight loss. Nutritionists work by spreading the knowledge of the healthy foods and diets for healthy bodies.
3.Nutritionists usually work in the government sectors while dieticians concentrate more on the private sectors.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi there,

    I have just completed my training (4.5 yrs P/T) in Nutritional Medicine through the Australasian College of Natural Therapies, and was interested to gain a clearer insight into the difference between myself as a qualified Nutritionist, and a registered Dietician.

    I was actually quite surprised and a little taken aback at the lack of knowledge you seem to possess about the depth and vast scope of knowledge and professional expertise nutritionists are required to achieve in order to treat all manner of sickness and disease – including obesity as you mentioned (at the request of the presenting client/patient of course) – professionally and effectively, from both a CAM and integrative medicine perspective.

    May I encourage you to checkout some of the academic requirements of graduates from both the Advanced Diploma (phasing out) and Bachelor levels via either Endeavour College, Torrens University or Australasian College of Natural Therapies?

    You may need to alter some of your content here to paint a considerably more accurate picture for your readers, of the ‘real’ differences between the 2 professions in question.

    Thanking you,
    Leoni 🙂

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