Dietitians vs Nutritionists
With so much information available on the internet and by word of mouth about the best diet or new superfood it can be difficult to know where to look and who to trust. Dietitians on the other hand are university trained professionals who can provide expert advice on nutrition information and help you sort out fact from fiction.
About the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist
A dietitian can be a nutritionist but a nutritionist can’t be a dietitian. In other words dietitians are health care professionals who have completed a university degree with supervised practical placemen in order to qualify them as a nutrition expert. Dietitians work in many settings such as public health, private practice, hospitals or for food companies. Alternatively, nutritionists will have completed tertiary study that is designed to help people live healthier lives and typically work in research or as media spokespeople. The confusing part comes when people who haven’t been to university call themselves a “dietitian” or “nutritionist”.
How do you know if the dietitian or nutritionist has been to university?
The best way to know is to see if they are registered with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). To do this you can take a look the Dietitians Association of Australia website at and search for an accredited practising dietitian. To be an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), members must have completed a DAA accredited university course. APDs’ must also undertake a required numbers of hours each year for continuing professional development to ensure current knowledge.
What is the main difference between the two?
According to Nutrition Australia “both Nutritionists and Dietitians aim to assist in a person’s journey to reaching optimal health through food and nutrition. The main difference between the two professions is that only a Dietitian (with an accreditation from the Dietitians Association of Australia) is qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy or clinical nutrition consultations in either an individual or group setting.”