Why choose a Registered Dietitian for your nutrition advice?
If you are looking for nutrition advice these days, it can be very confusing. There are many "nutrition experts" in the community, writing books/blogs, on TV, in the media and on the internet. How do you know if you are getting your information from a credible, reliable source? Let me explain why a Registered Dietitian is your best choice.
In Ontario, Registered Dietitian is a protected title. This means only individuals who meet the following strict criteria can call themselves a Registered Dietitian or use the initials RD:
has completed a 4-year university or equivalent degree with appropriate courses in sciences and human nutrition, administration and humanities;
has finished an accredited dietetic internship or equivalent supervised practical training;
has successfully completed the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination;
is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario
As provincially regulated health care professionals, Registered Dietitians are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario. The College provides public protection by ensuring Dietitians are practicing in a safe, competent and ethical manner. Dietitians are required to remain current through ongoing professional development and must participate in quality assurance and practice assessment programs on an annual basis to ensure continuing competency.
Dietitians use their evidence-based knowledge to manage nutrition for health promotion, disease prevention and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. Only Registered Dietitians are considered for roles in hospitals, nursing homes and government funded services because they are recognized for their advanced education and training.
In contrast, in Ontario, anyone can call themselves a "nutritionist" regardless of their source or level of education, training and ongoing professional development. Nutritionists are not provincially regulated or monitored by the College of Dietitians of Ontario. There is no insurance that the nutrition information/advice provided is supported by up-to-date, credible, scientific research or is in fact, even safe or ethical.
If you are looking for nutrition advice/information from a trustworthy
source, that is based on current, reliable scientific research, a Registered Dietitian seems like an obvious choice. A Registered Dietitian will provide you with practical advice, counselling, and a care plan that is tailored specifically to you and your needs. She/he will help you make lifestyle changes to improve your health and/or manage conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, weight issues or food allergies/intolerances.