Do you need to see a nutritionist, or a dietician? What is the difference between the two?
Nutritionists and dieticians advise people on what foods to eat and avoid and go about creating diet plans for people to follow. Both professions are considered to be experts in food and diet and within the healthcare industry. That said, there are differences between the two. Let me explain:
Nutritionists are typically referred to as certified nutrition specialists. They help people with the general health and offer nutrition supervision when working with clients. While nutritionists can help support the work with people who have eating disorders or some sort of disease, the main work revolves around food behavior. Nutritionists can help people live a healthier lifestyle and achieve health-related goals, and also work with clients on an individual basis.
In terms of education, there are varying degrees. Some nutritionists have a formal education in the field of nutrition or similar, while others may complete a nutrition course or diploma without have a bachelors in the field. Being a nutritionist is not as tightly regulated as being a dietician. Anyone can be a nutritionist if they complete a relevant course.
To be a dietician, you must earn a bachelors degree in the field. Typically upon completion, dieticians do an internship or training program at a health care facility, hospital, clinic, or food service company.
Dieticians can work with people who have illnesses and diseases, along with eating disorders as well. They can participate in more clinical work, depending on their interest. Of course, dieticians can also help create diet plans for weight-loss and any other health-related goals.
Furthermore, dieticians can also work with doctors, policy makers, industry leaders and market researchers to help improve the health of people.
I’m a nutritionist in Kuwait but with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in sports and exercise science. I call myself a sports nutritionist, because while I have the necessary qualifications and experience, I did not study dietetics at university. So what career is right for you? This is all down to personal preference, your interest and your career trajectory. If you want to be a registered dietician, you need to earn a degree in dietetics. Of course, even if you want to be a nutritionist, you need to have the right credentials. Unfortunately, many nutritionists claim themselves to be a health expert and this is wrong.