If you’re confused with what a Registered Dietitian (RD) actually does, you’re not alone. There are hundreds of specialties within the dietitian profession, yet the assumption is that all dietitians make meal plans for weight loss.
Some dietitians specialize in weight loss, while others focus on weight gain. There are sports RDs, renal RDs, diabetes educators, oncology RDs, school food service RDs, corporate RDs, gastrointestinal health RDs, employee heath RDs, culinary RDs, media spokespersons & hundreds of other specialties!
A Registered Dietitian is a food & nutrition expert who meets the academic & professional requirements to qualify as an "RD" or Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN).
In addition to earning a bachelor's degree, a Registered Dietitian fulfills an accredited nutrition curriculum, completes an extensive supervised program of practice, and then must pass a rigorous registration exam. As with most health professionals, Registered Dietitians also must complete continuing education to maintain a current license.
The Registered Dietitian "RD" credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by professionals who are approved by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Some RDs call themselves "nutritionists", but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians.
Be advised that virtually anyone can call themselves a nutritionist without any professional training or education. Credentials, education and experience are pivotal factors in choosing any health provider.