1. What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?
A dietitian is the only regulated health professional title. Regulated means that all dietitians have earned a Bachelor’s degree specializing in food and nutrition and have then gone on to complete a one year, supervised practical training through a university program or an approved hospital or community setting. They have a total of a minimum of 5 years of education.
It also means that Dietitians must be registered with Provincial Regulatory Bodies and are the only professionals who can use the titles “Registered Dietitian”, “Professional Dietitian” and “Dietitian”, which are protected by law. Look for the letters R.D., P.Dt. or D.Pt. after the name, indicating that the person is a registered member of the profession.
Nutritionist is not a protected term. This means that, technically, someone who has read a nutrition book, could call themselves a nutritionist and start giving advice. There are no guarantees on educational or training levels.
Dietitians are often covered under third party benefits. Nutritionists often are not.