What’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
The terms dietitian and nutritionist seem like describing the exact same profession. They all focus on health and nutrition, which can be confusing for those who are not within this profession. Being an Accredited Practising Dietitian, my friends, colleagues, or even doctors have asked the following question many times. What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
The simplest answer to this question is that all dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists can call themselves dietitians.
In Australia, the term ‘Nutritionist’ is not regulated. It can be used by the dietitian, nutrition graduates or someone with limited qualifications in nutrition. Although there is no specific regulation, a nutritionist can be registered through The Nutrition Society of Australia if they have formal training and qualification in nutrition.
Nutritionists usually are trained in community and public health, food science, and policy. Therefore, they can provide general health advice but cannot provide medical advice or medical nutrition therapy.
Dietitian (Accredited Practising Dietitians, APDs)
The major difference between dietitians and nutritionists is how they are trained. Being a dietitian requires completing a course that is accredited by Dietitian Australia. Therefore, they are qualified to provide individualized, evidence-based nutrition advice and offer medical nutrition therapy. In other words, whenever there is a need for nutrition advice with medical conditions, a dietitian is always the go-to person.
difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist conclusion
All in all, Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) have a broader scope of practice when it comes to providing individual medical nutrition advice.
APD is the only credential recognized by Medicare, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) and many private health insurers. Therefore if you simply want to improve your health through nutrition or require specific dietary advice to manage your condition better, book in with our dietitian now. We are here to help.