Where can you get your health advice from?
Doctors. Magazines, personal trainers, “health coaches” , Naturopaths, “consultants” for weight loss programs etc.
These sources are often completely unreliable and will add to your confusion about this already confusing area. The most qualified people you can see are Dietitians . Even Nutritionists may not have adequate qualifications for your medical condition. I’ve seen some “Naturopaths” who have less than a years education in the area, which is scary as many people turn to Naturopaths to help their medical issues.
What is the difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
In Australia there is a distinction made between dietitians and other occupations in the nutrition and food science field, including that of nutritionist.
The key difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is that, in addition to or as part of their qualification in human nutrition, a dietitian has undertaken a course of study that included substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management.
Therefore, in Australia, all dietitians are considered to be nutritionists however, nutritionists cannot be Dietitians and have NOT undergone specialised assessment and supervision. They may also not be required to keep their knowledge and accreditation up to date whereas Dietitian are Accredited annually but the Dietitians Association of Australia and need to maintain such qualifications
There is no industry specific assessing authority that assesses the qualifications of nutritionists who are not dietitians. Therefore you don’t know how much or little they have studied. This is the same with “Health Coaches” or Naturopaths”. Look for someone who has a minimum 3 year Bachelor degree (Dietitians have 4-6 years Undergraduate and Postgraduate Masters degrees)