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Do You Need a Dietitian or a Nutritionist? Here’s a Quick Comparison to Guide You

September 25, 2022

Many of us turn to nutritionists and dieticians in times of health crisis or when we want to play a more proactive role in our diet. But while these two health experts both help people find the best foods to meet their nutritional needs, their titles should not be used interchangeably.

In this article, we will give you a glance into some key differences between a nutritionist and a dietitian, including their education, qualification and scope of expertise.


Dietitian vs Nutritionist


In Australia, dietitians and nutritionists share some important responsibilities, but they differ substantially in terms of qualifications. To cut into the chase, all dietitians are also nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians.

Basically, the distinction between the two titles lies in their education and licensing. The dietetic profession is regulated and tends to have more education and credential, while the title “nutritionist” can be legally applied to anyone who provides general nutritional advice.

Without a dietetic qualification, however, nutritionists cannot assume the title of a dietitian.

Nonetheless, depending on the state, there are some nutritionist certification boards that allow nutritionists to be certified specialists.


Should I make an appointment with a dietitian or a nutritionist?


When it comes to our nutrition, it can be tricky to figure out the healthiest way to eat on our own. As a result, many of us put our dietary future in the hands of food and wellness experts.

To begin, you may wonder whether you should book an appointment with a dietitian or a nutritionist. A good rule of thumb is to know your specific health needs.

While both dietitians and nutritionists are incredibly helpful in breaking down the basics of a wholesome diet, their scope of expertise varies widely.

As opposed to dietitians, nutritionists are not qualified to diagnose eating disorders and design diets to intervene with specific medical conditions.

In many states, nutritionists deal with general nutritional aims and behaviours. Using up-to-date wellness knowledge, they assist with weight management, encourage healthy eating habits, and give basic health advice, so if this sounds like your goal, you may consider visiting a nutritionist.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to alter your nutrition according to a medical condition or a more individualised goal, it may be best to book a session with a dietitian. They offer a wide range of services, including prevention of disease and medical nutrition therapy.



There is always something for everyone, so whether you choose to work with a dietitian or a nutritionist, the decision to take a course of action can ultimately benefit your health.


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