People ask me this question all the time. These two terms may seem the same or even interchangeable but as you read on, you will discover what these two terms really mean and the differences between them… I think this quote from Dietitians of Canada unites most dietitians to answer the question: Who are Dietitians?
Now, the bigger question is usually “what’s the difference between dietitians & nutritionists?” The simple answer is educational background, experience settings and provincial regulation.
Dietitians have to get at least 4 years of university education. In addition to that, we are placed in a supervised & structured internship in a variety of settings (in inpatient hospital wards, in outpatient clinics, public health centres, hospital food service administration, and research). Dietitians are also registered and regulated by a provincial regulatory body (College of Dietitians of BC).
We are also the only nutrition-professionals legally able to work in hospitals and provide medical nutrition therapy.