If you’re looking to improve your diet and want to get some professional help, it can be hard to know whether you should see a nutritionist or a dietitian. Therefore, it’s useful to know the difference between nutritionists and dietitians.
A nutritionist is someone who uses their knowledge and understanding of nutrition to improve a person’s health and well-being. On the other hand, a dietitian is someone who can use their knowledge and understanding of nutrition not only to improve a person’s health and wellbeing, but also to assist in improving illness and medical conditions.
Usually, all dietitians are considered to be nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are considered to be dietitians. This is because dietitians complete extra study allowing them to practice in clinical nutrition as well as general nutrition. This means that, in addition to being able to provide information about diet and nutrition to people to help to improve their health, dietitians are also trained to change a person’s diet to improve or manage long term health conditions such as obesity, allergies and diabetes.
Whether you choose to see a dietitian or nutritionist, it’s important to make sure they’re suitably qualified to help you. A dietitian is an expert in dietetics, a branch of knowledge concerned with diet and its effects on health. A dietitian will commonly alter a client's nutrition based on a medical condition and/or individual goals. The title nutritionist can be applied to anyone who offers general nutritional advice. Nutritionists are not as regulated as dietitians, and even those who do not have any professional training can legally call themselves nutritionists.
Dietitians and nutritionists are not covered under medicare and only have limited coverage by most private health insurers. To work out the cost of visiting your preferred nutrition professional, be sure to ask about their fees before your appointment.
When first meeting, don't hesitate to ask about the provider's education, credentials, and licensure.