So, What Is The Difference Between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist?
…and does it really matter?
The term “Dietitian” and “Registered Dietitian” are often used interchangeably and are professionally regulated terms.
A Registered Dietitian has completed the following:
- An undergraduate degree from a 4-year Nutrition Science program approved by the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
- Minimum 900 hours in an ADA approved internship.
- Pass the National Registered Dietitian Examination.
- Complete 75 hours of continuing education credits every 5-year period to keep the Registered status active.
How is it Regulated?
In states with licensure laws you may see the initials “LD” which means Licensed Dietitian. You’re protected in those states because no one can call themselves a “nutritionist” because it’s against the law!
However, you are at risk in states without licensure laws, mainly because anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist” no matter what background they may have. Plus, self-proclaimed nutritionists may lack professional continuing education that is required, and no code of ethics they must follow. For most there is a tremendous lack of legitimate nutrition education. Scary huh?
University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Graduation: May 1997
Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science and Dietetics
2003 to Present: American Diatetic Association, member
2001 to Present: Southern Nevada Dietetic Association, member
1996 to 2000: California Dietetic Association, member