Perhaps you’re looking to boost your physical performance; or maybe you want to drop a few extra pounds. What if you just want to learn how to eat healthier? When you’re in need of nutrition advice, who should you turn too? A registered dietitian? A nutritionist? Who’s the qualified nutritional professional? (Don’t forget to look up) Throughout this presentation, I’ll be discussing the terminology in the name; reasons why it should it should be regulated in Arizona, and impact it has to the public. REGISTERED DIETITIAN VS NUTRITIONIST. This can be a confusing topic for the public. Aren’t dietitians and nutritionists the same thing?
NO Although often used interchangeably, “registered dietitian” is not synonymous with “nutritionist. ” Nutritionist is not a professionally regulated term—there are no minimum academic or training qualifications; which means that anyone can use the title “nutritionist “and give nutrition advice, even if they have absolutely no background in nutrition in the state of Arizona . In contrast, registered dietitian is a professionally regulated term. The registered dietitian credential is earned by completing a minimum of a four-year nutrition degree in an American Dietetic
Association accredited program; a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice experience in dietetics, and the successful passage of the nationally administered board exam. In addition, the registered dietitian is required to complete 75 hours of approved continuing education credits every five years to maintain their registration. This is because as a dietitian you need to stay on top of the game, and know what’s going on. However, if you’re looking to work with someone always do background information, and if they’re with an accredited program that’s based off science and not the latest fad.
WHY IT SHOULD BE REGULATED
Currently some, but not all states provide licensure to nutrition professionals, limiting the use of a particular title, such as dietitian, to those meeting certain academic and training requirements few states mandate that only licensed nutritional professionals can provide nutritional counseling. It seems ironic that there are licenses regulating the practice of over 100 professionals from manicurist and barber to mortician, yet, in many states anyone can call them self a nutritionist and give out nutrition advice. You should also be aware that certification is not the same as licensure.