What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a nutritionist or a health coach, and why should I care?
Registered Dietitians (RDs) have completed a four-year degree from a Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) accredited University, successfully completed a CADE approved internship program, successfully passed the National Registration Exam for Dietitians, and keep their credentials current through the completion of at least 75 continuing education credits every five years. Many “nutritionists” or “health coaches” will more than likely not have a college degree in nutrition and dietetics (or any advanced education), and may have received their designation from an online or distance program of at best one year, or at worst, a weekend!
Delaware also now requires licensure of RDs, so individuals in the state of Delaware who call themselves nutritionists or those that assess or counsel persons regarding their diet and nutrition without the RD credential are no longer able to do so without violating the current licensure law.
Although many individuals are passionate about nutrition and helping others through dietary assessment and/or counseling, you should only trust an RD to give you scientifically-based, credible information concerning nutrition. RDs are the true nutrition experts! Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of education, credentialing, and licensure from ANY individual who is claiming to be a health professional. It is your health – protect it!
For more information concerning the RD credential and licensure please visit the following websites: