Dietitian, Nutritionist or Nutritionalist?

Dietitian vs NutritionistDietitian, Registered Dietitian (RD) and Registered Nutritionist are all protected professional titles in the province of Alberta, similar to physicians, pharmacists, and engineers. In order to use the above titles, a dietitian must:

  • Complete a four-year Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in human nutrition
  • Complete a one-year internship with rotations in clinical and community nutrition, as well as foodservice
  • Pass a national registration exam
  • Meet annual continuing education requirements

Dietitians work in a variety of clinical and community settings, and are dedicated to evidence-based practice in nutrition and food.

Nutritionist is not a protected title, As of September 8, 2016, nutritionist also became a protected title in Alberta and can only be used by members of the College of Dietitians of Alberta, as with the titles listed above. There will be a grace period for other professionals to comply, and the title is still not protected in many jurisdictions, so you may find nutritionists with varying levels of training and experience.

Nutritionalist is not a word.

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