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The Question
Tue Jul 02 08:44:58 EDT 2013

What is the difference if any between a dietician and a nutritionist and which would be the better choice for weight loss information?
Asked By: alha4t4a  

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Type 2 since early 80s. Having difficult time loosing weight.
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n/a
Expert Answers (1)
2014-04-27 00:15:45.0

Dear alha4t4a,

Thank you for writing dLife!

Every Registered Dietitian is a Nutritionist, but not every Nutritionist is a Registered Dietitian!

A registered dietitian(RD)/registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) – a nutrition specialist who has passed a national exam, completed an internship and, in many cases, earned a master’s degree in the field – is trained in the science of diet modification to help people reach optimal health can to control illnesses such as diabetes.

An RD/RDN, especially one who has been trained as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), can help you understand how food affects your diabetes and how to make dietary modifications that will facilitate weight loss in a safe way.

When seeking nutrition services, always verify the provider is a registered dietitian (or registered dietitian nutritionist) through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is licensed in the state they are practicing.

To find an RD or RDN near you, click here.

Accreditations: MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN
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Community Answers (2)
2013-07-31 03:00:03.0

Dietitians are members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) which is the largest nutrition professional organizations in the U.S. with ~75,000 members in all 50 states. Recently, AND approved the use of RDN as our optional credential - RDN stands for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. In order to have the credential of RDN, we all went to 4 years of college majoring in nutrition followed by one year of on the job credentialed internship. Upon completion of an internship, we can sit for the exams. After we pass the exams, we are awarded the RDN credential but this credential needs 75 hours of continued education every 5 years in order to maintain this title. Because of this stringent requirement, we offer evidence based scientific information and quality assurance to the public. Because nutrition is such a broad subject, we specialize therefore the best person to help you with diabetes and weight loss is a person with RD or RDN and CDE ( Certified Diabetes Educator). You can find such person in your area by checking the websites of American Diabetes Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Good Luck!
Answered By: tsaianli

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2013-07-12 18:11:05.0

I've been told that dietitians have more extensive schooling than nutritionists, and are required to pass boards for licensing. Nutritionists are not regulated in the same way and are less well trained.
Answered By: rsk

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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