What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietitian?
This is a question that sometimes pops up. I’d like to provide a brief overview of some differences which will allow you as a client, to chose the right healthcare practitioner that meets your needs!
After many years of being passionate about health and nutrition, I decided I wanted to work in this field and knew I needed to complete another degree to be recognised. I pondered my options and found the perfect degree that was aligned with my own personal thoughts and vision around healthy eating! A Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine. It was being offered by a brand new holistic college in Sydney. After reading the course components, I loved what I saw and felt their principles aligned with my own beliefs. Both nutritionists and dietitians agree on the same vision of better food = better health, however, Nutritionists have a more holistic approach to healing, which comprises body, mind and spirit.
Basically, to become a Nutritionist or Dietitian you complete a Bachelor degree. There are some colleges that may only offer Advanced Diplomas in Nutrition, which are not as comprehensive as a Bachelor degree. There are many Health Coaches out there too, who you may confuse as Nutritionists or Dietitians. Again, do your research first and check everyone’s qualifications so you understand what each practitioner will be able to provide for you.
To become a Dietitian, a common degree completed is a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. There are some differences in the subjects taught between a Nutritionist and Dietitian degree, therefore, after completion you may notice that each practitioner has their own individualised way of treating their clients.
Dietitians are recognised by Medicare and most health funds, however, Nutritionists are not recognised by Medicare, only some private health funds. Both Nutritionists and Dietitians practice evidence-based medicine.
All in all, I believe that there are amazing Nutritionists, Dietitians and Health Coaches out there for everyone. When it comes to deciding who you would like to see, find a practitioner that resonates with you, and who you can trust and feel safe with. At the end of the day, anyone who adds value to your life and increases your health and wellbeing, is the PERFECT practitioner for YOU!
I am a current Member of ATMS (Australian Traditional-Medicine Society) which is Australia’s largest national professional association of natural medicine practitioners.
An article that sums it up beautifully too, written by Sandy Davidson, a well-respected Lecturer of mine can be found HERE!