What is a Registered Dietitian?
A registered dietitian is a nutrition expert who has met the academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential “RD.”
If you need a private nutritional counselor its best to choose a Dietitian that has a holistic approach to wellness care and nutritional health.
Dietitians work in many different fields and have their own unique area of focus. For example a Clinical Dietitian, which you may be familiar with, addresses the acute needs of a hospitalized patient. Clinical Dietitians have made great strides in the medical community to show that patient outcome is better and patient issues can be resolved through nutritional care and the use of foods rather then always turning to the pharmaceutical means. Dietitians have been forefront in promoting nutritional counseling to patients before they leave the hospital in efforts to educate them on disease prevention.
Other dietitians work in private practice (like I do) or as outpatient educators in the community to help emphasis healthy life style choices and wellness care for disease prevention. In this setting you are able to use a more holistic approach because you do not have individuals with acute needs that require hospitalization. Chronic diseases and the many health problems in the United States are brought on by poor nutrition from our modern diet and its adverse effects are passed down from one generation to the next. I want to help stop this trend and educate individuals to eat foods as they were designed to be eaten. Additionally, Dietitians are experts in keeping up with nutritional research and as all research is done by humans, its critical to be able to know how to take away the facts and the truth.
What Are Educational and Professional Requirements for a Registered Dietitian?
Registered dietitians must meet the following criteria to earn the RD credential:
- Receive a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited university or college and course work approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association
- Complete a CADE-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length
- Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
- Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration
What Do You Study to Become a Registered Dietitian?
Students wishing to become registered dietitians study subjects including: food and nutrition sciences, medical diet therapy, biochemistry, biology, nutrition throughout the life-cycle, human and exercise physiology, microbiology, anatomy, chemistry, organic chemistry, food service systems management, business, economics, computer science, culinary arts, sociology, and communications.
Click here for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics