Working with a registered dietitian (RD), also known as a registered nutritionist (RDN) means working with someone who has a minimum of a four-year college degree with coursework that includes biology, biochemistry, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, counseling, and of course, nutrition and food science.
In addition to their schooling, registered dietitians are required to complete an intensive internship and pass a national registration exam. RDs, like other health professionals, are bound to a code of ethics and are required to complete courses in continuing education to maintain their registration. They are trained to examine the science and translate it into workable plans for their patients and clients and develop strategies to help you meet your health goals.
A dietitian is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a nutritionist; however, a nutritionist requires no formal education. Also, in the state of Texas, RDs or RDNs are required to be licensed (LD). Dietitians can counsel patients on medically necessary dietary intervention, whereas nutritionists can not.