There are two career paths that exclusively deal with food, diet and nutrition. They are dieticians and Nutritionists. Though there are similarities between the two but there are a lot of differences between the two as well. Below we will talk about the differences between dietician and nutritionist.

Dietician Vs Nutritionist

Dietician Vs Nutritionist: Differences Worth Knowing

Both, dieticians and nutritionists are considered to be healthcare professionals. However though, dieticians can be considered to be nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dieticians. Let us talk more about the differences.

Dietician Vs Nutritionist: Differences Based on Definition and Regulation by Laws

A dietician is a health professional having University qualifications comprising of a 4 year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and also specific period of practical training in various hospital and community settings. Some dieticians also go for further knowledge by pursuing various specialist Dietetic qualifications. "Dietician" term is protected by law in several countries including USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

However, a nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to someone who has done a short course in nutrition or someone who has given themselves the title.

"Nutritionist" term is not protected by law in almost all countries.

Dietician Vs Nutritionist: Differences Based on their Work

Dieticians can work in both hospital and community. They may also work with people having special dietary requirements, inform the general public about proper diet and nutrition, educate doctors, nurses, health professional and community group. Dieticians, especially the business dieticians can translate the science of nutrition in to everyday information about food. They are also involved in several diagnoses and dietary treatments of several diseases like food allergies, diabetes, cancer etc.

Nutritionists, rather the qualified nutritionists are also known as Food Scientists who normally work for food manufacturers, in research, in retail businesses, public health promotion etc. Some of the nutritionists may also work as Dietician Assistance, Food Journalists etc.

Dietician Vs Nutritionist: Differences Based on Types

There are differences between Dieticians and Nutritionists based on their types.

Dieticians are of following types

  • Clinical Dieticians: Such types of dieticians work in hospitals and various other health care facilities for providing medical nutrition therapy to patients as per the disease processes, provide individual dietary consultations to patients and the patients family members, and also conduct group education for patients, public and other health workers.
  • Foodservice Dieticians: Such professionals are responsible for large-scale food planning and service
  • Community Dieticians: These types of dieticians work with wellness programs and international health organizations.
  • Research Dieticians: Such types of dieticians are usually involved with research related to dietary in the clinical aspect of nutrition in disease states, public aspects on primary, secondary and also sometimes tertiary health prevention aspects.
  • Gerontological Dieticians: These types of dieticians are specialists in nutrition and aging. Gerontological dieticians are Board Certified in Gerontological Nutrition with the American Dietetic Association.
  • Business Dieticians: They are the dieticians who serve as resource people for the media. Their expertise in nutrition is mostly taped for TV, radio and newspapers; either as an expert guest opinion, or for resource, restaurant or recipe development and critique.
  • Consultant Dieticians: These type of dieticians work under private practice.
  • Administrative Dieticians: They are managers or head of their departments and there are number of dieticians working under them in the department.

Nutritionists are divided in to following types:

  • Nutrition Scientists: They are the nutritionists who use the scientific method for studying nutrients.
  • Public Health Nutritionists: Such types of nutritionists are specialists who help in diagnosing the nutritional problems of communities and also help in finding solutions to those problems.

Dietician Vs Nutritionist: Differences Based on your Safety

Registered dieticians are professionals and they are held accountable for their conduct and the care which they provide people. This is why the safety and reliability of this healthcare professional are ensured.

As "Nutritionist" title has been used by many unqualified persons to describe their involvement in food and nutrition; you should be careful while choosing a qualified nutritionals.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 16, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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