W H A T I S A N R DN ?
A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a nutrition expert who has studied nutrition extensively and is up-to-date on nutrition trends and research, allowing them to provide you with evidenced-based nutrition knowledge. Not only do they learn about nutrition but how people from all walks of life can live a healthy lifestyle. In doing so, they are trained to understand how food affects the body, and how to help you overcome any barriers that might be keeping you from living the healthy life you want. RD's want to work with you to find the solutions you have been looking for to stay healthy whether you are on a budget, have a busy schedule, or simply don't know where to start. An RD helps you address these barriers and any others you may be facing that keep you from living a healthy life.
W H E R E D O R DN ’ S W O R K ?
RD’s can be found in a variety of different settings that fall under three categories: clinical, management, and community. RDN’s in clinical settings work predominately with inpatients and outpatients with medical issues that require special diets. However, clinical RDN’s also see people looking to lose weight or looking for guidance on a healthier lifestyle. Management RDN’s can usually be found in foodservice settings, making sure the people that they serve are receiving the food they need with the highest quality possible. RDN’s in management are not limited solely to foodservice, but they can also be found running hospital departments and several other food-related organizations. In a community setting, you can find RDN’s working with a variety of different people promoting healthy lifestyles, providing nutrition education to at-risk populations as well as anyone else who would like nutrition information. Community RDN’s may also be found putting together weight-loss programs and working one-on-one with clients to meet their nutrition needs. An RDN could work in one or all of these settings at any time.
W H A T ’ S T H E D I F F E R E N C E B E T W E E N A N R D A N D A N U T R I T I O N I S T ?
The difference between an RDN and a nutritionist is knowing what you are getting. With an RDN you know you are getting an educated professional who has taken board exams and answers to a credentialing agency whose goal is to protect the public. You can be assured that you are working with someone who will do research on different dietary approaches and will create a nutrition plan based on your wants and needs. Additionally, if you have a medical condition, you know you will get the appropriate care from someone who understands that nutrition can be life threatening in these situations. None of this can be guaranteed with a nutritionist. Furthermore, all RD’s are nutritionist but not all nutritionists are RDN’s. The Registered Dietitian (RD) credential is equivalent to the RDN credential; additionally, many RDN’s go by the title nutritionist because it is a familiar term to most people. Even if they go by nutritionist, all dietitians will list their credentials as either RDN or RD.
Now that you know a little more about RDN's, I hope you will be inclined to seek their guidance for your nutrition needs. This way you won't have to spend hours online trying to work your way through the dietary fads wondering what will work. You'll have an expert at your fingertips with your best interests in mind.