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Dietetic Directions Blog - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Dietetic Directions Blog

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist vs. Holistic Nutritionist

Have you ever seen a “nutritionist” on the nightly news or Dr. Oz giving advice and asked yourself: Who is this person and what are their qualifications? In a world inundated with nutrition information it is important to question the source of information to determine credibility. Today, let’s explore a common question: Are Dietitians and Nutritionists the same thing?



Education 

Supervised Training 

Work Settings

Dietary Recommendations 

Benefit Coverage?

Regulated by a professional governing body?

Call themselves Nutritionist 

Call themselves a Dietitian?

Registered Dietitian (RD)

Minimum 4 year Bachelor's degree in food and nutrition. 


Completition of minimum 1 year accredited dietetic internship in clinical or community setting. 


Must pass Dietetic Registration exam for licensing. 


Optional: Masters or PhD degrees, continuing education certificates.


Complete over 1250 hours of supervised training.


Hositals, Community Health Centres, Diabetes Education Centres, Family Health Teams, food service, grocery stores, Long Term Care, Private Practice etc. 


Use scientific research, practice-based evidence as well as government approved tools.


Potential for remedial action from the College of Dietitians if making unsubstantiated claims not supported by research. 


Registered Dietitian services are covered by many benefit plans.


Covered by OHIP through hospitals, community health centres, diabetes education programs and family health teams. 


Yes, professionally regulated by provincial college.  Practice in accordance to set laws and standards to protect the public.  Yearly quality assurance to ensure up-to-date education, ethical practice and competence. 


Yes. 


Yes. 

Nutritionist 


No formal nutrition training required. Title of "nutritionist", "nutrition expert" or "registered nutritionist" is not protected or regulated.




Not mandatory.



Private Practice or group classes.


Unable to work in hospitals because not clinically trained with disease management. 


Often more "alternative" treatment plans that do not have to be evidence-based. 


Not covered by OHIP.


Not covered by insurance plans.


No. 


Yes.


No.

Registered Holistic Nutritionist


Minimum high school education to apply.


Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) for 1 - 2 year program and board exam. 

Complete 50 hours of practicum.


Private health clinics, gyms, nutritional supplement companies.


Unable to work in hospitals.


Study natural nutrition diploma program and follow a code of ethics. 


Not covered by OHIP.


Not covered by most insurance plans. 


RHN is a Registered Trademark and NOT a professional designation. 


Yes. 


No. 

* Table is for Ontario only.  The term nutritionist is protected by law in other provinces (Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec).  Find out what the differences are between a dietitian, nutritionist, and holistic nutritionist! Click To Tweet Bottom Line: Be critical of the nutrition information you hear! Question the credibility of information...

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My Top 7 Veggie Boosting Tips

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Is your Fridge Stocked for Healthy Eating Success?

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The Bone Broth Myth

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Cut Down on your Food Waste!

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Restaurant Labeling Laws Are Changing!

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