Dietitian, Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist or Diet Expert?
Choosing the right person to seek help and advice from can sometimes be a confusing task. Many people claim to be experts in nutrition yet have very limited knowledge and offer no protection to the public.
Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and governed by an ethical code to ensure they always work to the highest standards. They are also the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level.
Dietitians work with both healthy people and people with health issues. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
What qualifications do they have?
Minimum requirement is a BSc.in Nutrition and Dietetics focused heavily in the sciences such as biochemistry, physiology, and research methods and complemented by social and behavioural sciences and theories of communication. This degree is combined with either a Master’s degree or a supervised practical placement that stresses clinical and professional competence before being eligible to sit for the national licensing exam and registration process.
The process doesn’t end once you become a registered dietitian. Annual self-development and continuing education as well as public protection acts must be undertaken in order to maintain professional status. Being a dietitian means using the most current research to provide best practice care and advice. This requires being a learner for life!
Other titles used by those practicing nutrition
A dietitian may choose to call himself or herself a nutritionist; however “nutritionist” is not a protected title and may be used by anyone, with any level of education and knowledge.
Nutritional therapists, clinical nutritionists, diet experts, personal trainers etc., often see patients privately, or through alternative/complementary medicine practices and fitness or weight loss centres. They are not permitted to call themselves dietitians and have varying amounts of education in the field of nutrition. They not eligible to register with Health Care Professions Councils and are often self regulated rather than independently regulated.
For an appointment with a registered dietitian, or for more information, please call 2537 7281
Why See a Dietitian?
• You know what you should be eating, the hard part is figuring out how to do it. A dietitian can give you guidance about what to eat and perhaps most importantly, help you to create the change you wish to see to keep you eating healthfully.
• You have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes or diabetes. While genetics play an important role in many chronic illnesses, diet and other lifestyle factors can have a real impact on the prevention and treatment of many health issues.
• You have questions related to healthy eating for fertility, a healthy pregnancy, feeding your baby, dealing with a picky eater, being vegetarian etc.
• You wouldn’t mind some professional insight on how to navigate label reading, grocery store shopping, eating out, traveling, shift work and more.
• You could use support and help managing health issues such as a chronic disease, gout, digestive problems, or food allergies.
• You want to instill healthy eating habits in your family, especially your little ones, but need help in getting started
• You have gone on several different types of diets and still struggle to maintain an ideal weight. A dietitian will help you to separate “fads” from fact and create a plan that you can follow to fit your lifestyle.
• You may have read and tried different things on your own and become frustrated if things still haven’t worked out. A dietitian has a lot of knowledge and experience to offer that can help to find new solutions and give you the support you need to find the right answer for your individual situation.
• You simply want to eat better. Dietitians are the trusted go to person for all your nutrition related issues.
To book your appointment with a dietitian at International Doctors, please call 2537 7281
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Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Prevention or management of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high bloodlipids, osteoporosis
- Menu planning for busy people who require a lot of eating out or traveling
- Paediatric nutrition (Feeding your baby or toddler, failure to thrive, obesity)
- Digestive problems
- Food allergies
- Pregnancy nutrition (pre-during-post, gestational diabetes)
- Breast feeding nutrition
- Exercise recommendations
- A Registered Dietitian can help you to manage a medical condition with a special diet, control your weight, feed your family, or interpret nutrition facts (e.g. food labels or choosing supplements)