Friday, April 29, 2011

Nutritionist vs. Dietician

Far too many people use the words Nutritionist and Dietician interchangably and it drives me bananas. On on hand, it makes the Nutritionist sound pretty damn awesome, but on the other hand it makes the Dietician's years of school, credentials and accountability seem meeningless.

To put it bluntly, my 16 year old cousin working at GNC could be called a Nutritionist. Oftentimes they have no damn idea what they are talking about, and most of the time they should not be giving advice to people - especially when those people think they have some accreditation.

Dieticians: Have a Bachelor in something related to health & nutrition coupled with practical training in a supervised University or Hospital setting, are registered professionals (aka can have a designation after their name such as R.D.) and are accountable to provincial regulatory bodies for their professional conduct and the care they provide - just like doctors, pharmacists, lawyers...

Nutritionists: May have some - or all - of the credentials a dietician has. A dietician is a nutritionist but a nutritionist may not always be a dietician (a square is rectangle but a rectangle may not always be a square) . The picture at the top is of Connie Diekman (President of the American Dietetic Association) and her dog Eddie. The cirtificate in front of Eddie is a certificate making him a nutritionist from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants.

Would you take nutrition advice from a dog?

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