Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

What’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

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I’m going to take a little break from blogging (really, just hoping to get a jump start on January’s posts) for the rest of the year. As I’ve gained a number of new followers over the past little while, and I know you don’t all manage to read every post, I thought that I would reblog some of my most popular posts.
Happy holidays!
This was originally posted in March, my month of debunking Dietitians of Canada’s debunking of nutrition myths.
Myth 19: There is no difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist.
What Dietitians of Canada says:
“Dietitians are one of a kind… Dietitians must be part of a regulatory body, just like doctors, pharmacists, and nurses. The terms “Registered Dietitian,” “Professional Dietitian” and “Dietitian” are protected by law. In many provinces, there are no laws to protect the title “nutritionist.””
What I say:
Yes and no. In some provinces nutritionist is a protected term. However, in most provinces nutritionist is not a protected term so anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. RDs who have a masters in human nutrition often call themselves nutritionists, regardless of province. Being part of a regulatory body means that we are licenced and held accountable. Unregulated nutritionists do not have that same accountability and often have little education to support their knowledge of nutrition. Check that the person providing you with nutrition advice has the credentials to be doing so. For an interesting and balanced take on the differences between dietitians and nutritionists I highly recommend Erik Davis three-part series The Legitimacy Diet. I’ve linked to the third part here as it also has a list of the provinces where nutritionist is a protected term. Links to the first and second parts are on the right-hand side of the page.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

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