How is a Registered Dietitian (RD) different than a “Nutritionist”?

All RD’s are legally considered as “nutritionists,” but not all “nutritionists” are considered Registered Dietitians. The “RD” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

All RD’s must have completed the following:

  • Earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, nutrition or nutrition sciences
  • Completed coursework which included: food science, clinical dietetics, community nutrition, life-cycle nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, education methodology, biochemistry, microbiology, social sciences, human anatomy and physiology, and other culinary and nutrition related classes
  • Completed a post graduate dietetic internship or supervised practice program where hands-on, in-the-field experience is gained.
  • Passed the registration exam and must recurrently obtain continuing education credits in order to complete the recertification process. This process ensures that RDs are continuing to stay abreast of the latest research and practice information to best serve the public.