Perhaps you might question what factors distinguish a certified nutritionist from a certified dietician. You might have heard the terms “dietician” or “nutritionist” and must be confused by their professions.
Here, we will outline the differences between these two professions, their qualifications, the scope of expertise, training, career path, insurance coverage, etc.
Certified Nutritionist vs. Certified Dietician
Selecting the right individual to seek advice can be confusing, primarily when the two professions almost work in the same niche. However, dieticians and nutritionists are both experts in food and diet and help people to embark on their health requirements or prevent and treat their health conditions. Selecting the right person can be an extremely confusing task. They are frequently mislabeled for their different qualifications.
Renowned nutritionist, Juliet Wilson told, “in the UK, a person cannot operate as a dietician until and unless they occupy a certified diploma.”
In contrast, you can still be a nutritionist even if you are not certified. Some individuals claim to be expert nutritionists, yet they have minimal knowledge and provide zero security to their clients. Undoubtedly, these two shares almost the same responsibilities. However, one cannot interchange the titles as a dietician is considered more regulated than a nutritionist.
Dieticians are required to follow the ethical al codes to ensure qualitative work. Registered dieticians (RD) are qualified to work or diagnose a client to alter or treat their nutritional or dietary conditions. Through extensive training, dietitians use their expertise to provide evidence-based, customized nutritional counseling to enable individuals to make optimum health and lifestyle choices.
Dieticians are qualified to practice and Influence people about nutritional lifestyle across the spectrum from government to households and individuals.
A prospective dietitian must have a minimum bachelor’s degree authorized by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and acquire a statement from the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
A registered dietician must have supervised experience at a licensed healthcare sector or food service corporation. Lastly, they must conduct a national examination governed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Area of Expertise:
Dieticians are trained experts who tend to improvise nutritional well-being and treat the medical well-being of individuals through their medical nutrition therapy. They generally work with individuals with chronic diagnosed diseases and design tailored meal plans for their individual needs.
Regulated by the Law:
In certain parts of the world, you need to meet a few specific requirements and enroll with a certified body to claim yourself a professional dietician. When you register with a statutory regulator, the health and care professions council (HCPC), you can call yourself a certified dietician.
Before starting practicing as a nutritionist, it is compulsory to clear an exam and hold a license in this field.
A dietician generally operates in medical settings, including health sectors such as hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies, and health clinics. Where they diagnose people, conduct their nutritional assessment, and prescribe nutritional diet plans to improve their health.
In many nations, individuals claim themselves as “nutritionists” instead of “dietitians,” Though their academic background clearly defines them as dieticians. They often operate in schools, colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, athletic organizations, private clinics, etc.
Nutritionists are the individuals who encompass the credentials and training in nutrition. They generally work with individuals to educate them about nutrition and implement meal plans that can treat a balanced lifestyle.
Graduates from these courses encompass a direct entry on the voluntary register. In the United Kingdom, there’s no legal need to be registered with the UKVRN, governed by the Association for Nutrition (AFN). An individual not registered with UKVRN might have circumvented the AFN’s standards and regulations.
Area of Expertise
Nutritionists emphasize treating the eating habits of people by planning their diet charts. They treat people who seek to lose or gain weight or want to improve their nutrition intake and lifestyle.
Nutritionists do not treat people with health disorders (e.g., people with heart problems, diabetics, etc.
Not Regulated By the Law
The Law does not regulate nutritionists. Anyone can claim themselves as a nutritionist. However, To claim oneself as a Certified Nutritionist or a registered nutritionist, you must have recognized degrees in nutrition science.
In most cases, an individual must pass advanced certification boards before claiming to be a certified nutritionist specialist from the Association for Nutrition (AfN), especially when they want to work as a sports nutritionist.
Unlike dieticians, nutritionists work more often in commercial settings, including gyms, wellness centers, long-term care facilities, athlete organizations, and nutritional supplement organizations.
Nutritionists work in public or private health care centers too, but they need proper qualifications and must be registered with the UKVRN, The UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists. Other sectors include food health restaurants and cafeterias of large companies where they work to organize balanced and healthy diet menus.
They also work in government and private or public schools, educating individuals on the importance of a nutritious diet and lifestyle.
Asking questions is much better than keeping your doubts to yourself. It is not an issue to ask for the qualification details from a person who claims themselves as a dietitian or nutritionist. We hope our article has helped you to differentiate these two similar professions.