Who & What is a Registered Dietitian and How Do They Differ From a “Nutritionist”?
I've made this blog post a simple checklist. When you are searching for the right person to work with for your health & nutrition, it's helpful to understand what qualifies them.
A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN) qualifies in these areas:
✓ Has a BS degree in Dietetics from an accredited school.
I went to UC Davis.
✓ Did an intense internship for 6 months to a year.
I did mine at OHSU.
✓ Studies hard and takes professional board exams, like a nurse.
✓ Maintains Continue Education Units every year and stays up on the latest research.
✓ Is the only nutrition professional respected in the medical community.
(Note: MDs have less than 1% training in nutrition).
✓ Often times have a Master’s Degree.
I have mine from PSU in Health Studies with an exercise emphasis. I did my thesis on pedometers in 2003 and have been wearing one ever since. Every.Single.Day. Yes, really!
✓ Can combine Eastern and Western philosophies, depending on their training.
I have been studying and practicing Ayurveda since 2011.
✓ Take the entire person, body and health/family history into account before making any sort of recommendations or suggestions.
✓ They examine and explain medical blood work, are up to date on the latest research and food products and often incorporate other modalities into appointments - like supplements, mindfulness, fitness and MUCH more!
In contrast - A “Nutritionist” can literally be anyone.
There are a ton of 6 month to 1 year nutritionist programs in-class or on-line that anyone can take. People who are certified can practice very basic nutrition and are not required to have a degree.
An RD once got her dog a certification on-line that said he was a “nutritionist”.
So, are you ready to read on?
13 Things your Dietitian Secretly Wants you to Know!