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With all the nutrition information available today how do you know what to believe? Who should you trust as the authority on nutrition and health? The answer is…. A Registered Dietitian (RD) (also known as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)) and Nutrition Scientist.
Nutrition Scientists hold a Masters or PhD degree in nutrition and science from accredited colleges and universities which focus on nutrition research and education as opposed to clinical or patient focused care. They are well educated and trained and provide accurate and reliable nutrition information to the public.
What is an RD / RDN ? Simply put, RD / RDNs, or registered dietitians / registered dietitian nutritionists, are experts in nutrition and what the human body needs to be healthy. What sets a dietitian apart as an expert is the education and experience required prior to taking a registration exam. It should be noted that while dietitians are in actuality nutritionists; not all nutritionists are dietitians. To differentiate, look for the lettered credentials. If a name is not followed by the credentials RD, RDN, or LDN, you can not be certain of the individual’s education and experience, and therefore the accuracy of the information they provide.
More on Registered Dietitian’s Area of Practice
It is also important to note that dietitians specialize in different areas of dietetics. No one dietitian would consider themselves an expert in ALL areas of nutrition. Here are some of the areas in which a dietitian might specialize:
|Adolescents||Cardiac Disease||Public Health|
|Weight management||Nutrition Support||Media|
|Preventative Health||Eating Disorders||Corporate Wellness|
|Diabetes||Sports Nutrition||Food Banks|
Some dietitians work in hospitals as an “inpatient” or “clinical” dietitian, or as a foodservice director; others work in an outpatient setting. Outpatient dietitians may work in a hospital, clinic, long-term care facility, doctor’s office, public health foundation, research facility, school/university, community center or in a private practice. This information should help you find the best professional to meet your and your children’s needs. To a find a Registered Dietitian in your area go to www.eatright.org and click on “find a nutrition professional”.
Flavia Herzog, MA, RD is a Registered Dietitian specializing in pediatric weight management and eating disorders as an associate with Nutrition Profiles; as well as coordinating two USDA funded Nutrition Education grants through Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.