What Is A Dietitian?
The titles Dietitian and Registered Dietitian (or RD for short) are protected and regulated designations. It is a protected title similar to physician, nurse or pharmacist. An individual must undergo specific training to use these titles. A Registered Dietitian is a nutrition professional who specializes in food, nutrition, and the important role that it plays in maintaining health and preventing and managing disease.
What Kind of Training is Needed to Become a Dietitian?
Dietitians must complete a four year science degree in foods and nutrition from an accredited university program followed by an additional year of applied training to be eligible to write a national exam that ensures competence to practice. Dietitians are also required to regularly complete additional competency training to stay on top of emerging research, skills and techniques. Many Dietitians, myself included, go on to complete Master’s degrees, which enhance their skill and effectiveness further. For more information on my specific credentials please connect with me on Linked In.
What Does ‘Registered’ or ‘Regulated’ Mean?
Being registered means that my practice is regulated by the College of Dietitians of BC to ensure that you, and anyone I work with, receive safe, ethical and evidence-based nutrition care and information. In a time when there is so much ‘noise’ out there around food and eating, accessing nutrition information from a Registered Dietitian is the gold standard.
What’s the Difference between a Dietitian
and a Nutritionist?
In BC the term Nutritionist is not protected or regulated. It means that a Nutritionist may have a wide range of education and professional experience ranging from none to university degrees. This means that the accuracy and type of information provided by a Nutritionist can vary. You will never seen a Nutritionist or unregulated nutrition professional working in a healthcare setting.
Bottom line: If you want professional and evidence-based nutrition information, ask an RD.