Ocnutrition’s Blog

Dietitian or Nutritionist: Who is the Nutrition Expert?
January 4, 2010, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Dietitians, Uncategorized

Did you know that in California anyone can call themselves a “Nutritionist”?  Most states require licensing, but section 2068 of California’s Business and Profession code allows anyone to call themselves a Nutritionist regardless of education.  People have taken advantage of this loophole to market themselves as so-called nutrition experts.  Many of these unqualified nutritionists are salesmen with illegitimate credentials obtained through diploma mills (organizations granting degrees which are fraudulent or worthless due to lack of proper standards).  According to the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), these unqualified “nutritionists” charge counseling fees for questionable advice; utilize unproven “tests” to assess nutritional status; and often profit personally from the sale of supplements they prescribe.

A Registered Dietitian (RD) is a professional credential, just like a Registered Nurse (RN) or Medical Doctor (MD).  The title is legally protected and can only be used by those authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association.  Individuals who are Registered Dietitians have 1) received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from an accredited college or university; 2) completed at least 900 hours of internship experience at an accredited institution; 3) successfully completed the Registration Exam for Dietitians; and 4) maintained recertification by obtaining at least 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years.

While many illegitimate nutritionists provide advice that is not backed by sufficient research, Registered Dietitians are trained to critically evaluate research studies and base their advice on the most up-to-date research.  By looking at your medical history, medications, supplements, and eating and exercise habits, a Registered Dietitian can provide you with safe and effective nutrition counseling to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

To help protect you against unqualified nutritionists, the NCAHF recommends that you check out the accreditation status of any unfamiliar degree-granting institution and verify a nutritionist’s credentials by checking with the local, state or national dietetic association.

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
(949) 933-6788

Useful Resources:

American Dietetic Association (ADA)

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF)

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

How much do you charge for counseling and do you except insurance?

Comment by Suzanne Shin

Our prices can be found by going to http://www.ocnutrition.com and clicking on Services. We don’t bill insurance companies but will provide you with a billing summary which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is best to check with your insurance company ahead of time to see if they will reimburse you for services provided by a Registered Dietitian.

Comment by ocnutrition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: