If a person lines up 100 people, how could you identify the nutritionist? That would be a rather difficult task, because it is impossible. The reason the task is difficult because they all could be considered nutritionists. Based on the liberal and non-regulated use of the term “nutritionist,” they all can use the term to describe themselves. Nutritionist is a term that has little objective and clinical value for the assessment and delivering of accurate nutrition.
Nutritionist is a broad and rather generic term that people may use to describe their nutrition knowledge. “Their” knowledge can range from possessing a formal college education to reading a book. However, nutritionists do not always reveal their origin of how they became nutritionists.
Many of the nutritionists who grace the television screen and your health fitness clubs do not possess any formal education, such as college. Majority of the nutritionists rely upon certifications, seminars, and other subjective forms of education that has no universally accepted protocol.
Even medical doctors, the upper echelon of the healthcare profession, receive inadequate education in regards to their nutrition. It is recommended by the Academy of Science that medical schools provide 25 hours of nutrition hours to their medical students.
Based on a survey of 126 medical schools, most medical students only were provided 23.4 hours of nutrition on average. This information reflects the limited use of the word nutritionists. Like mentioned earlier, in the United States, the word nutritionist may carry weight as some form of health pundit or guru, but in other countries, not so much.
In many countries such as South Africa and Canada, the name is legally protected as an actual term that only a healthcare professional can use. However, nutritionist is a not a legal term that can be used to describe nutrition as a healthcare professional in the United States.
Nutritionist is a term that seems to empower people and give them falsehood about their nutrition knowledge. Many people can look all over the web for examples of nutritionists who prey on people with inferior knowledge of nutrition to give nutrition knowledge with a sense of knowing more than they actually do.
Dietitians are undervalued due to the saturation of nutritionists. As people are constantly getting certifications, going to seminars, and sometimes reading a book, these people are going to the forefront and rushing to talk to people about nutrition, and the dietitians are being cast aside as overpriced nutritionists, with little or no use to the general public.
This public opinion can be far from the truth. The knowledge of dietitians is far superior compared to nutritionists. Registered Dietitians must go on a strenuous journey to become a dietitian. Registered Dietitians begin their journey at an undergraduate degree, where academic excellence is a must. Ask most nutritionists what their GPA was when they graduated from school.
Registered Dietitians have an average GPA of 3.4 in their undergraduate studies that are placed in the competitive internship program. A minimum 3.0 is needed to be even considered for a Registered Dietitian dietetic internship. Most Registered Dietitians must then be placed in a strenuous dietetic internship placement, similar to medical school. Ask most nutritionists where he or she interned at.
The percentage of placement for students into a dietetic internship is 50%. Ask most nutritionists where they were at during the stressful night of dietetic intern placement. During the strenuous 10 month internship, dietetic interns are required to spend 35-40 hours a week in a variety of facilities to acquire nutrition knowledge, such as school systems, nursing homes, hospitals, and public health options.
Ask your nutritionist how was their internship. This stint must total to a minimum of 1,200 supervised hours. Upon finishing the dietetic internship, the dietetic intern must pass a difficult Registered Dietitian examination. Ask most nutritionists what was their RD exam score. The reason these questions should be asked is not to make nutritionists seem useless, but dietitians have a nutrient background that nutritionists cannot compare to.
The quantity of education is not the only thing that separates dietitians from nutritionists. The quality of their education concerning nutrition is also superior. Dietitians learn how to deal with almost every medical condition from a nutritional standpoint.
Most nutritionists, seeing what target audience they would like to make money off of, generally have a narrow range of knowledge. Dietitians also are able to give nutritional advice to all ages as well as all health conditions. Most nutritionists lack these skills of effectively giving nutritional knowledge to a diverse group of people.
The choice of using a nutritionist or dietitian should be made by the individual. However, the choice should be made with intelligence and responsibility of making the best decision based on one’s health. Dietitians have the reputable knowledge and background to fully assess and evaluate your condition rather than use a limited knowledge and give a general nutrition.
Also many nutritionists lack evidence-based knowledge to validate their nutrition knowledge they give to their clients. Hopefully, this knowledge will allow a person to make a more intelligent decision in terms of choosing a nutritionist or dietitian for service.