What Is A Registered Dietitian

1. What is a registered dietitian?

Registered dietitians (RDs) are the only qualified health professional that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level.  Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.

2. What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

Dietetics is the interpretation and communication of the science of nutrition to enable people to make informed and practical choices about food and lifestyle, in both health and disease.  A dietitian will have trained in both hospital and community settings as part of their course.  Most dietitians are employed in the NHS, but dietitians also work in the food industry, education, research and on a freelance basis.  It is necessary to have a Health and Care Professions Council recognised degree in nutrition and dietetics to work as a dietitian and to be registered with the HCPC if working as a dietitian.  The title dietitian is protected by law and anyone using the title must be registered with the HCPC.

Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food, how nutrients are used by the body, and the relationship between diet, health and disease.  Most of the major food manufacturers and retailers employ nutritionists and food scientists but opportunities also arise in journalism, research and education.  There are a variety of careers within the field of food science and technology.  Many nutritionists hold a nutrition degree and are on the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists but this is not a mandatory register.

Helen is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, the Independent UK wide regulatory body for allied professions, is a full member of the British Dietetic Association and a member of special interest groups, Freelance Dietitians and the Public Health network.