I haven’t even finished my degree and I’m already getting the infamous question….
“Should I see a nutritionist or dietician?” and the subtle difference, “what’s the difference between you and a dietitian?”
We both need to be ‘accredited,’ whether it’s an accredited practising dietitian (APD) or an accredited nutritionist (AN). A number of health professionals such as naturopaths and personal trainers with human nutrition knowledge can call themselves a ‘nutritionist’ where they may have completed as little as a 6 week nutrition course. An accredited practising dietitian (APD) or accredited nutritionist (AN) must have completed a minimum of 4 years university degree.
So what does a nutritionist do?…
Nutritionists have expertise in a range of services including public health nutrition, community health and tertiary education related to nutrition. Nutritionists may design, coordinate, implement and evaluate a range of population health interventions to improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the population as a whole, through better food and nutrition.
Dietitians may work in many of the same settings as Nutritionists, such as public health and community nutrition, research and teaching, food industry and nutrition marketing and communications. However, Dietitians are also qualified to work with hospitals and the medical nutrition industry.
To simplify it we are both very similar and can do similar things within practice. I will just not be able to work within a hospital setting. But I will still have the medication knowledge and interactions.