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What is a Registered Dietitian and What is a Nutritionist?

“What is a Registered Dietitian? How does that compare to a nutritionist?”

Registered Dietitian

Registered Dietitians vs Nutritionist Infographic Designed by Dana Magee, RD, LD, CLT

What is a Registered Dietitian? This is one of the most common questions we get asked here at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates. Remember a Registered Dietitian is always a Nutritionist (they hold both titles), but a Nutritionist is not always a Registered Dietitian.  Confusing right?  See below for the differences!

Registered Dietitians (RD’s) are health professionals specializing in food and nutrition. In order to earn the nationally-recognized credential of RD, a candidate must complete a Bachelors Degree in Food and Nutrition and/or Masters Degree in Nutrition or American Dietetic internship. RD status also requires successfully passing the National Registration Exam and accumulating a sufficient number of on-going continuing education credits annually. A RD is sometimes referred to as a nutritionist, however, a nutritionist who has not achieved RD status may not advertise herself or practice as a Registered Dietitian. Also, in the state of Maryland, Registered Dietitians are licensed (LD) to prevent misuse of the term nutritionist. RD’s and LD’s are the only health professionals permitted to counsel patients on medically-necessary dietary intervention such as diabetes, eating disorders, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

For more information on Registered Dietitians, here are some blogs:

How our Registered Dietitians Can Help You Meet Your Nutrition Goals

Virtual Appointments with a Registered Dietitian

What to Expect from Your First Appointment with a Registered Dietitian

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