Why should you hire a registered dietitian instead of simply just a personal trainer, nutritionist, doctor, or health coach on your journey to eat better? While many people use the terms nutritionist and dietitian interchangeably, they are different things. For example, anyone with zero to very little or even a lot of nutrition training and education can call themselves a nutritionist. It is not a protected title. So what happens, is that well meaning, but uneducated persons have started calling themselves nutritionist and are creating meal plans based off of whatever they themselves deem to be appropriate or healthy.
This is totally unregulated and often times can create more problems than they solve. In the state of Utah the law states that:
|Anyone can perform nutrition counseling on their own, however only an RD (Registered Dietitian) is accredited and authorized to be recognized by the US Government as performing services that are eligible for reimbursement under the current health care laws.|
Expert is taken from NutritionED.org
Even well meaning doctors, with very little education in nutrition, will sometimes give out dietary advice that they didn’t receive training or formal education about. A Registered Dietitian on the other hand, has completed the rigorous testing and education requirements set by the Commission of Dietetic Registration and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes getting a masters degree with coursework including;
Alongside their masters degree, and RD will have also completed an internship that possibly includes medical nutrition therapy, clinical nutrition research, and special populations. Not to mention that they have to pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration Exam, and apply for the State Certification as a Registered Dietitian in the state they work in.
So as you can see, being a Registered Dietitian is a highly respected and educated position that very few professionals have. Yes, many trainers and nutritionists can give general healthy eating advice. However, to seriously dive into your nutrition habits, we highly recommend talking to a Registered Dietitian.