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Nutrition counseling services

Seeking out the healthiest diet? Get help from nutrition experts who offer dietary information, education, advice, and above all, support.

Nutrition Counseling Services Certification And Licensing

A registered dietitian is required to meet specific academic and professional requirements as outlined by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the largest organization in the world dedicated to setting and screening food and nutritional standards. In New York and Connecticut, Vermont and certain other states, unregistered food specialists can legally practice under the title dietitian or nutritionist. With minimal registration requirements, California is one of the few states to permit unregistered professionals to practice.

Licensing laws vary from state to state. There are currently 46 states with laws that govern dietetics. Of these states, more than half (including Florida and Texas) require licensure, meaning that training is required in order to hold the title “dietitian” or “nutritionist.”

Difference Between Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists

Nutritionists (and dietitians who are not registered) provide dietary advice and support, but do not need to complete any specific level of education, coursework, training or examination. The primary difference between these two health professionals comes down to training.

Registered dietitians are more highly trained. They must acquire a four-year college degree, with a majority of the coursework dedicated to dietetics, food service management or nutrition. In order to be licensed by the ADA, a registered dietitian must also complete specialized training programs, internships and standardized tests. Many advanced registered dietitians may also hold a masters degree or a doctorate.

Training and Coursework

Before taking a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, all registered dietitians-in-training must complete a rigorous set of prerequisites.

In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, all candidates are required to finish coursework approved by the ADA’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. Typical classes include food and nutrition sciences, sociology, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, chemistry and other science and business-geared courses.

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