What is the difference between a Dietitian and a nutritionist?
- A Dietitian is a qualified health professional who assesses, diagnoses and treats diet and nutrition problems. Dietitians are degree-qualified, and are registered with the “Health and Care Professions Council” (HCPC), which means that they are the only nutritional professionals to be regulated by law and governed by an ethical code. This ensures that they always work to the highest standard. The title ‘Dietitian’ is a protected title, meaning that only Dietitians registered with the HCPC are allowed to use the title. Dietitians are experienced in translating nutrition science into understandable, practical information about food, allowing people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. The HCPC also requires Dietitians to follow very high standards around communication, record keeping and keeping up to date with continuing professional development.
- A nutritionist is not regulated in the same way as a Dietitian. As such, there is the risk that anyone can label themselves a nutritionist, without having the appropriate credentials. This means that it is extremely important that you check the qualifications of a nutritionist if you are planning to use one. The British Dietetic Association has recently published a guide to help you distinguish between Dietitians, nutritionists, nutritional therapists and diets experts, click here to access the guide.
- Why choose a Dietitian? ‘Dietitian’ is a protected title, meaning that only Dietitians registered with the Health and Care Professions Council are allowed to use the title. By choosing a Dietitian, you will receive a quality service and can be assured of exceptional standards of advice and care.