What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
Registered Dietitians (RDs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria to earn the RD credential:
How Is an RD Different Than a Nutritionist?
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 American Dietetic Association.
Some RDs may call themselves "nutritionists," but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The definition and requirements for the term "nutritionist" vary. Some states have licensure laws that define the scope of practice for someone using the designation "nutritionist," but in other states, virtually anyone can call him- or herself a "nutritionist" regardless of education or training.
Qualifications of a Registered Dietitian (RD)
Academic and professional requirements include:
Approximately 50% of RDs hold advanced degrees. Some RDs also hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition, nutrition support and diabetes education. Registered dietitians who are members of the American Dietetic Association are not only food and nutrition experts - they are leaders in the field of dietetics. Every one of ADA's wide array of member benefits is designed to advance their knowledge and skills and enhance their networking opportunities.
What Services do RDs Provide?
The majority of registered dietitians work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, as part of medical teams), often in hospitals, HMOs, private practice or other health care facilities. In addition, a large number of registered dietitians work in community and public health settings and academia and research. A growing number of registered dietitians work with food and nutrition industry and business, journalism, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs and other non-traditional work settings.
|Clinical Nutrition—Acute care/inpatient||30%|
|Clinical Nutrition—Ambulatory care||15%|
|Clinical Nutrition—Long-term care||10%|
|Food and Nutrition Management||12%|
|Consultation and Business||11%|
|Education and Research||6%|
Services of Registered Dietitians
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