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Nutritionists and dietitians

Watch Tracy and Janeane discuss the differences between a dietitian and a nutritionist, and the role each plays.
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TRACY: Hi, I’m Tracy and I’m a nutritionist.
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JANEANE: Hi, I’m Janeane and I’m a dietitian. And we feel it’s important to share with you about the roles of dietitians and nutritionists and meanings behind the titles. 00:00:22.800 –> 00:00:25.500 align:middle line:84% TRACY: So both Janeane and I have studied at University.
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We both have a basic understanding of nutrition science and the role of food and nutrition within the body.
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JANEANE: Dietitians and nutritionists share common areas of work. For example, working with governments, working with the food industry, working in communities and populations, to support healthier eating and better nutrition. The differences with dietitians is that they have specific training in clinical nutrition to be able to work with patients who may require specialised dietary advice. People with coeliac disease, a dietitian is able to translate their knowledge of the disease into certain requirements that person might need. For example, boosting calcium intake or healthy meal ideas.
65.5
TRACY: So, if you’re someone with a clinical disease, You don’t want to come to me as a nutritionist to seek advice, you want to go see Janeane. Some of the work I do, as a researcher and nutritionist, is around putting kilojoules or calorie labelling on menus. So I provided advice to food companies who didn’t know how to calculate the energy or kilojoule content of their foods, and that does take specialist training and knowledge to do that. So the food companies, we help them with that. And that was part of a government funded project back in the UK.
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JANEANE: Dietitians and nutritionists both have skills and expertise in being able to translate scientific information about food and nutrition into practical advice for people requiring it.
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TRACY: As nutritionists, we work alongside dietitians, whether that’s teaching– we both teach here at Monash– or in the food industry, or giving advice to governments. But really, we tend to work with healthy individuals, who have no clinical diseases.
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JANEANE: And so, we felt it was important because there’s a lot of confusion between the different titles of dietitian and nutritionist. And it’s important to check the credentials, or to check the training, if you are seeking nutrition advice from an expert.
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TRACY: Many people call themselves nutritionists, but they quite often don’t have the expertise and the training that we have. So it is important, as Janeane said, to check the credentials of who you’re seeking advice from.
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JANEANE: And ensure that they’ve had nutrition training from a recognised University, and they have had at least three to four years of training in nutrition and/or dietetics.

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Watch Tracy and Janeane discuss the differences between a dietitian and a nutritionist, and the role each plays in supporting healthier eating and better nutrition.

Find out more

In our department at Monash University we have a number of different nutrition professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable in the area of food as medicine. Our dietitians and nutritionists are examples of professionals who have studied evidenced based nutrition, food and health courses and yet have different areas of experience and expertise.
When looking to a professional for nutrition advice it is important that you understand the difference in nutrition professionals so you can choose an appropriate professional for you.
In the See also section of this step, you can access links to websites of nutrition professionals that you can contact for nutrition advice.
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Food as Medicine

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