Glad you asked! A Registered Dietitian is an expert in nutrition. Anyone can claim to be a “nutritionist,” but only a Registered Dietitian has had the proper training to be trusted to provide accurate, scientific evidenced-based nutrition information. RDs help translate the science behind nutrition into practical uses in everyday life (ie. FOOD!)
The training required to be a RD is:
1. Minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent.
2. Completion of a Commission on Accreditation of Dietetics Education (CADE) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. This accreditation program ensures all students receive the required education to be a successful dietitian. This includes classes in Clinical Nutrition, Community Nutrition, Foodservice Management, Public Speaking, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry and more.
3. An internship with a minimum of 900 hours of supervised practice. Interns must fulfill all required competencies required of an entry-level dietitian.
4. Complete a RD Certification Exam
5. Complete continuing education requirements throughout your career lifetime
6. Abide by the RD Code of Ethics
Whew! It’s a long haul, but worth it to be a Nutrition Expert!