What is the difference between what dietitians do and what nutritionists do?

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What is the difference between what dietitians do and what nutritionists do?

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Nutritionists can do whatever they feel like. Dietitians have to earn a curriculum-based certification and maintain professional standards to keep the “Registered Dietitian” title.

Dieticians are formally educated, trained, and licensed, at least in the USA. It’s like a lawyer or doctor, there’s official educational standards and paperwork required for becoming a dietician. Nutritionist *is not* a protected title. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. It means nothing.

As to what they do, a dietician will give someone guidance on diets and nutrition. A nutritionist does whatever they feel like.

Dieticians have to be licensed to use the labels RD or RDN, much like being an RN or an MD. Nutritionists don’t.

Nutritionists may have a lot of knowledge and be a big help or they may just be some weirdo who thinks kale is magic and gluten is the devil. If you wind up on a structured diet in a hospital, for example, you WILL be working with a dietician, not a nutritionist.

In most places, dietician is a regulated profession and a protected title, while nutritionist is not.

I can’t legally call myself a dietician without the required education and professional licensing. But I can advertise my nutritionist services tomorrow, even though I don’t know anything about nutrition. In fact, my cat is a nutritionist too, because I said so. She has strong opinions on wet food vs dry food and we would like to charge you by the hour for her recommendations on what you should eat.

Note that in some jurisdictions, such as some Canadian provinces, nutritionist is also a protected title and registered profession, so the difference between a dietician and nutritionist can really depend on your local regulatory framework.

Dieticians are professionals with qualifications. A literal degree and license to practice

Nutritionists are anyone who calls themselves one, because “Nutritionist” isn’t a professional title

One is educated, the other is your idiot ex friend trying to get you into nutrilife and young living. Nutritionists aren’t licensed and you can call yourself one. I am one, go drink beer and have a hot dog, bam.

You see little Jimmy, a dietitian is an actual trained expert with education and credentials.

Nutritionists are self-labled people that promote alternative medicine and pseudoscience. There is no regulation on the title; anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.

Dara O”Briain described the difference: “*Dietitian is to Nutritionist as Dentist is to Toothiologist*”

Anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist or a Toothiologist, only a person having completed the appropriate qualifications can call themselves a Dietitian or Dentist.

To begin with, one has an actual education and KNOWS what they are talking about… The other one js on the same shelf as a spiritual healer.

I think Dara O’Brien explained it best. A dietitian is the equivalent of a dentist, a nutritionist is like a toothiologist

I got a degree in human nutrition and foods. So what the fuck is it even valuable for? (A lot of bitterness because of this) Wast of time going to college to find out anybody can be called a nutritionist but if you get a degree in nutrition you are still called a nutritionist. wtf Please somebody explain to me that I didn’t waste time getting this degree ugh

There is no such things as an official “nutritionist”. It’s a made up position that requires no education, training or expertise. Much like naturopath.

Registered Dietitian here! I got a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics, completed a supervised internship from an accredited program, and passed a national exam. I went on to get a Master’s degree which will be required for all dietitians in 2024.

Nutritionists do not do any of that.

Not saying that nutritionists cannot be helpful. But there is a lot of misinformation out there and mostly spread by non credentialed folks. Also, in many states, only a dietitian can provide medical nutrition therapy. So basically, if you have cancer or a chronic condition like diabetes and you’re seeking nutritional guidance, only an RD can help you, not a nutritionist.

I would like to add that in a medical setting Dietitians are in charge of writing tube feeding orders and TPN orders (IV nutrition for when the gut cannot be used). To work in any medical setting you must be an RD).

source: am a dietitian who works in a hospital

Bunch of dopes in here. It depends on the state. Some states do protect the ‘nutritionist’ title, others do not. They almost all protect the ‘dietitian’ title, because it’s older and more established (and practices a very traditional view of nutrition). With that said, Certified Nutrition Specialists have to obtain a master’s degree and complete over 1000 hours of supervised clinical hours, while dietitians just need a bachelor’s. You asked what they *do* however, and they mostly *do* the same things.

Dietitians have qualifications and are certified. They have to stay in the field else they will lose their certification.

Nutritionists are anyone who gives advice.

As a former cancer patient I just want to say that the dietician on my medical team played an equal part in keeping me alive as anyone else. Thank you Cheryl! Every cancer treatment team should include a dietician.

🤯 I ever knew that Chiropractors are not a based on real science, until I followed the comments in this thread 🤯🫢

As the younger folks say “ I was TODAY years old, when I found out….”

The former is a protected term, meaning only a person with the correct credentials can call them selves one.

The latter is not a protected term, meaning you can call your self one.

The key difference besides the licensure of RD that everyone else has mentioned is that Dietitians are legally allowed to provide medical nutrition therapy, which essentially consists of nutritional prescriptions for chronic/acute conditions while a nutritionist can only provide much more broad advice and would need to defer to an RD for something like that