Nutritionist vs Dietician: Which Specialist Should You See and Why?

According to recent research, most Americans are unhappy with their body. If you feel the same way, you might be wondering “should I see a nutritionist?”

While for some of you the answer will be yes, some of you will be more suited to seeing a dietician. Yet what is a nutritionist and what is a dietician? How can you figure out which you should see?

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritionist vs dietician discussion and help you figure out which you need to see. Ready to learn more? Then read on!

1. Dieticians Are More Regulated

Broadly speaking, becoming a dietician is a longer process than becoming a nutritionist. While the exact requirements vary from place to place, a dietician needs to complete an undergraduate degree, then complete an internship and pass an exam to gain registration.

By contrast, a nutritionist does not typically need any qualifications, so they may not have the right knowledge to treat or diagnose diseases.

Some nutritionists do gain a degree and certification, however, which then allows them to call themselves Certified Nutrition Specialists or a C.N.S. Other titles may be used in different areas.

2. Dieticians Can Help With Eating Disorders

If you think that you or someone that you care about is suffering from an eating disorder, then seeing a dietician should be your aim. In general, nutritionists are more concerned with foods’ nutritional content and its behavior.

A dietician can help diagnose an eating disorder and can also come up with nutritional plans to help people escape them. They may also be able to help you eat the right food to prevent illness, for instance, if certain foods inflame your joints, a dietician can help you create meal plans to deal with that.

More information about why and when you should go to a dietician can be found here:

3. Nutritionists Are Not Medical Professionals

In general, nutritionists do not work in a clinical setting, unlike dieticians. While there may be nutritionists who work at hospitals, they are more likely to be working behind the scenes than working with patients.

As there is very little regulation around who can call themselves a nutritionist, a nutritionist may be someone who runs a food blog or they may work for a massive food services company helping to plan meals. 

An unqualified nutritionist may also offer dangerous advice, so if you plan on hiring a nutritionist, make sure that they are qualified, and that they are, preferably, a C.N.S..

If you have any health concerns surrounding food or diet, you will be better served by seeking out a dietician than a nutritionist.

Nutritionist vs Dietician: Answered

We hope that this article has helped you understand the difference between a nutritionist vs dietician. While both can help people, if you need medical help involving food, you will be better served by a registered dietician.

For more helpful and informative blogs like this one, check out the rest of our site!

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