Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Beginner Fitness Tips
After Years of Struggling, Here's How I Finally Learned to Do Push-Ups
Why the Bulletproof Coffee Guy Thinks Millennials Are Getting Too Old, Too Fast

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

A dietitian is an expert in food and nutrition. They give dietary advice, help promote healthy eating habits, develop specific diets for people, and participate in nutrition research. In the U.S., nutrition professionals include the registered dietitian (RD), and the dietetic technician, registered (DTR). They are regulated by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). They must meet strict educational and professional prerequisites and pass a national exam before they are registered dietitians.

Nutritionists are health specialists who are interested in food and nutritional science, preventative nutrition, diseases related to nutrient deficiencies, and the use of food and nutrients to cure disease and ailments.

They also are not regulated. They have varying degrees of education in nutrition – some have very little and some have a masters or phD. Since the term "nutritionist" isn't regulated, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist and dispense nutritional information without having any education whatsoever — they even write books.

Fit's Tips: If you want advice on your diet, food, or nutrition, I'd see a dietitian unless a nutritionist could prove to you how much education they've had.


Mariagserr Mariagserr 4 years
Hello... Talking about dietitians, and nutritionists do you now any? If you do Can you Please give me their E-mail Or phone number so I can Contact them Because I have to do a project about that job.
Marguerite3273679 Marguerite3273679 5 years
This article is not strictly correct.\u00a0 Dietitians are the only people who are able to advise persons with their diet who are post op or suffering from Chronic disease such as renal failure, cancer etc.\u00a0 Nutritionists with a major are adequately trained to offer nutritional advice to healthy indiciduals who wish to maintain their health and also to persons suffering from disorders such as diabetes.
ditorres ditorres 10 years
so i think the take away message is that an RD could call themselves nutritionists if they wanted to for whatever reason (say because to the lay person it sounds better). Nutritionists, however, cannot correctly call themselves Dietitians or Registered Dietitians because they have not proven that they possess the knowledge nor the skills necessary to counsel someone on nutrition.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
Through the gastric bypass process I was sent to a nutritionist and I soon realized this person knew about as much about nutrition as I did when I was 8. Then I did some research found the ADA (American Dietetic Association) website and from out the difference between a nutritionist and a RD. Then through their website I got my own RD, who has also a PhD, who knew about GBS and the restrictions and needs and she's far beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. My RD looks at my blood panels etc and overall diet and physiology whereas the nutritionists was more interested in recommending the latest fad diet and excessive exercise. Anyone who is really interested nutrition should have picked up and read the Sept 2007 issue of Scientific American called "Feast or Famine". It was entirely about food, nutrition, obesity, malnutrition, calories, and what science does not know about nutrition. It's an amazing read. I gave copies to both my primary and my GBS surgeon. Most important fact is that ALL nutrition claims should be taken with a with a grain of salt. Why? Because dietary studies are sponsored by the food industry and are biased. It does not matter what hallowed institution is doing the research or study - the study itself should be considered suspect because 99% of the time the facility was sponsored by the very company whose livelihood is at stake. SciAm found that this tainting went from organic companies all through to junk food companies - so no company is without its issues.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 10 years
Great info! Very helpful.
Spectra Spectra 10 years
I worked with a woman that was a dietician, and she said that only people with an RD certification can be called "dieticians", but yeah, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.
buffyanne buffyanne 10 years
Thanks for the info. I am so glad I know, now.
pixelhaze pixelhaze 10 years
Huh, good to know. I always thought that one was patient based (dispensing nutritional advice, looing at how you eat and what changes you should make, etc.) and one was research based, in a lab. At my university I knew there was a "nutrition science" major, so that's probably why I thought that.
nikolem2 nikolem2 10 years
This is not exactly correct. The terms vary from state to state. Dietitian is the common term that you can trust, but in some states RD's are actually called "nutritionists" (NY state is one example where this occurs). The important thing is to look at a person's credentials--a four year degree in nutrition science and/or dietetics and a license or registration from an accredited body.
sunshinevaness sunshinevaness 10 years
Yhanks for telling the difference between the two because I had no idea.
syako syako 10 years
Very good tips Fit. My cousin is in school to be a dietician, and if it wasn't for talking with her I would have never know the difference. It's good to be vigilant when it comes to your health AND when it comes to people telling you how to live.
Warrior Diet For 1 Week
What Should You Not Eat Before a Run?
Why I Won't Go on a Diet | Essay
Does Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds