Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

Many individuals use these two words interchangeably and although that can be done in certain circumstances it is important to know the difference between the two.

A dietitian is someone that has completed at least a BS in Dietetics, one year of supervised work, and passed the registration exam to become licensed. Once licensed a dietitian may use Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to identify their credentials. After initial registration, a dietitian is then required to complete continuing education credits regularly to maintain their license.

Dietitians are THE go-to nutrition experts. Physicians refer to dietitians to help patients manage chronic diseases, weight concerns, and other health concerns.

A nutritionist title is self-assigned so someone that is a nutritionist may or may not be qualified to provide nutrition advice. To say it simply, anyone can call them self a nutritionist. A nutritionist could be someone with a phD in Nutrition, a physician focusing on nutrition, an educator that teaches nutrition, a health coach, a blogger talking about nutrition, or even your neighbor that just graduated with an electric engineering degree.

A nutritionist title is not inherently negative but it’s important to do your research when you come across a nutritionist – is it a self-acclaimed nutritionist or did they put their time in to achieve the title?


About me

Dua genuinely believes that our relationship with food should not be complicated. She likes to focus on eating in moderation and listening to your body but this, of course, will be different from person to person and body to body.



All information, content, and material of this website,, is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.