Nutritionist vs. Dietitian – What’s the Difference?

It’s common for people to think that Dietitians and Nutritionists do the same thing, but the truth is these two professions are very different in terms of education, qualifications, and day-to-day roles. Let’s start by looking at what a dietitian does and how to become a dietitian, and then we’ll look at the same thing for nutritionists.

What does a Dietitian do?

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 Bermudians 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 Bermuda 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

But what do dietitians actually do in their day-to-day roles? 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

What does a Nutritionist do?

Unlike Dietitians, 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

While both can be beneficial during preconception, throughout pregnancy and postpartum, you will most likely be making your decisions based on your life philosophy, personalities, insurance coverage and budget for bringing your little one into this world. Either way, paying a visit to these professionals is a great way to make sure that you stay on track to your goals from beginning to end.

This post was originally published on Closing The Gap HealthCare Blog.

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