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Looking for nutritional advice and don’t know if you are on the right path? Book a session with a Registered Dietitian in British Columbia via: www.bcdietitians.ca and we will be here to guide you through every step. Book a session by scrolling at packages to the bottom!
What is the difference between a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Nutritionist ?
It’s common for people to think that Dietitians and Nutritionists do the same thing, but the truth is these two are very different in terms of education, qualifications, and roles.
Dietitians don’t just follow the newest diet trends and make standardized recommendations to their patients. Instead, they develop diet and nutrition programs tailored to an individual’s objectives and personal needs. However, Dietitians don’t just work with individual clients; they also work with stakeholders within the industry to ensure best health and nutrition practices are being followed.
Dietitians help improve the health of Canadians by working with:
Doctors: to improve eating habits of individuals with complex health issues
Policy makers: to help the government at all levels create health strategies for the Canadian population
Industry leaders: to consult on food systems, food sustainability, food service management, production, and marketing
Market researchers: to help conduct research to better understand food science
Educators such as school teachers: to teach students about the Dietitian profession
Dietitians use their training in counselling and food sciences to perform the following duties:
Help individuals make healthy food choices
Influence food-related policy developments
Educate individuals, governments, education facilities, and industries on nutrition programs
Help public and private establishments manage quality food services
Conduct nutrition research
Create diet plans for individuals with health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies, and obesity
Provide education and advice for complex nutritional requirements such as intravenous feeding, negative nutrients, nutritional supplements, food safety storage, diet and drug interactions, and more
For more information about how Dietitians promote health through food and nutrition, visit this link.
The terms “Dietitian” and “Registered Dietitian” are protected titles across Canada and the US will include “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist”. This means that in order for individuals to use the Dietitian or Registered Dietitian title, they must register with a dietetic regulatory body in the province in which they practice. In BC, this provincial regulatory body is the College of Dietitians of British Columbia. Dietitians are Nutritionists BUT Nutritionists are NOT Dietitians !
For an individual to become a Registered Dietitian, the following requirements must be completed:
At least 1250 hours of supervised hands-on experience in counselling, disease management, population health, and food systems
The completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE)
Masters Degrees and PhDs are optional but are not a requirement
Nutritionists primarily work with individual clients. As an expert in food and nutrition, Nutritionists advise people how to live a more healthy lifestyle and achieve health-related goals. Nutritionists perform the following duties:
Develop a diet and exercise plan for individual clients
Support clients through regular meetings
Track clients’ progress and motivate individuals to stick to diet plans
Coordinate and lead group or individual cooking classes
Promote health and nutrition by giving presentations about the importance of food nutrition
Assess individuals’ overall health including sleeping habits
Individuals that refer to themselves as Nutritionists can have varying levels of education – and sometimes, may have no nutritional education at all. This is because there are no regulatory bodies governing titles such as a Nutritionist / Holistic Nutritionist / Health Coach / Registered Nutritionist / Wellness Coach / Nutrition Specialist.
There are some cases where the titles Nutritionist and Registered Nutritionist are protected, for example in Quebec, Alberta, and Nova Scotia, but these are the few exceptions. You may see individuals with trademarked titles such as Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN); however, these titles do not indicate that the individual is a regulated health professional.
*Example packages are below, but prices and sessions may vary depending on the Registered Dietitian and whether you are looking for a private one-on-one vs. group session and whether it will be a phone or video session. Please contact your extended care provider for insurance coverages for your dietary wellness needs!