What is a Dietitian?
The Nutritional Truth Revealed
With all of the conflicting nutrition information and the multitude of “nutrition experts,” do you ever wonder what and who to believe? When you are confronted with the term nutritionist, it is important to seek more information to verify the qualifications of the person using that title. Since there is no national standard for nutritionists, anyone can give themselves this title with or without any educational background in foods and nutrition. The letters RD (Registered Dietitian) after a person’s name signifies that he/she has met all of the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) requirements. The CDR is the credentialing agency for the American Dietetic Association, and their requirements include the following.
· a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nutrition from an accredited college or university
· 900 hours in an accredited supervised practice program at a hospital, medical center,
or foodservice facility.
· successful completion of a national examination administered by the CDR
· ongoing continuing professional development to maintain RD credential.
RDs work in a variety of employment areas, which include health clubs and grocery stores. In the health club setting, RDs offer their expertise to educate clients about the crucial relationship between food, fitness, and health. Dietitians perform scientific evaluation of clients’ diets, provide sound nutrition education for overall health, and help prevent and treat illness by promoting healthy eating habits.
When seeking nutrition advice, it is important to look for a qualified source. State licensure, represented by the initials LDN, is a requirement that specifies that the bearer can give nutrition advice. Since the term nutritionist is not regulated or credentialed, it can be used by untrained individuals who could do harm by giving inappropriate advice. RDs extensive education and experience makes them nutrition experts who are most qualified to help people achieve optimal health.
"My favorite aspect of my job is that I help people improve their lives. It is truly fulfilling to see a client succeed and lead a healthier lifestyle. Don't Diet! EAT HEALTHY, LIVE HAPPY!"
-Yours In Health,
Kristin Niessink MS, RD, LDN
Phone: (401) 368-7614