What is a dietitian?

When I tell someone I am a dietitian, I always get questions about what I do, who I see and if there is a difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist. So what better way to kick off the blog than to share with you a little more about what I do.


Lets start with, what is a dietitian?

In Australia, the Dietitians Association of Australia regulates Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs). APDs are university-qualified professionals and undertake ongoing training and education to ensure that they provide you with the most up-to-date and credible nutrition information. They have expertise in individual dietary counselling, medical nutrition therapy, group dietary therapy and food service management. APDs translate health and nutrition information into a form that is simple and easy to understand.


Is there a difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

In short, yes, there is a difference between a dietitian and nutritionist.

As I mentioned, a dietitian is university qualified in food, nutrition and dietetics. The university course includes substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management. To maintain their status, an APD must participate in continuing professional development and adhere to the national competency standards. Dietitians are recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare and most private health funds for the high quality and standard of nutrition and dietetics services.

In Australia, the term nutritionist is not regulated which means that some nutritionists may have university qualifications however others may have completed a short course by correspondence. There is no association or body that regulates nutritionists. This means that there are nutritionists who may have studied for long periods of time however they are not recognised for this. Nutritionists usually work in areas of public health, policy and research and community health. They are able to provide general nutrition advice however are unable to provide medical nutrition therapy.

This can all become quite confusing as the terms ‘dietitian’ and ‘nutritionist’ can be used interchangeably. Dietitians can call themselves nutritionists however nutritionists without a dietetics qualification cannot take on the expert role of a dietitian. It is important to check the qualifications and accreditation of the dietitian or nutritionist to ensure that you are provided with the best possible care and advice.


What does a dietitian do?

As an expert in food and nutrition, dietitians hold a deep understanding of how the body works and how the foods you eat can affect your body. They provide medical nutrition therapy and nutrition prescription to clients. Dietitians may use health and nutrition advice, strategies, plans, meal ideas and recipes to assist clients on their journey. They will support, guide, inspire, motivate and empower clients to achieve optimal health and be the best version of themselves.


Who sees a dietitian?

Dietitians provide expert health and nutrition advice to many people with varying goals and health conditions. Do you need to lower your cholesterol levels? Are you experiencing uncomfortable digestive symptoms? Are you an elite athlete looking to improve performance? Would you like expert advice to eat and feel better?

If you answered YES to any of these questions then I can help you!

As I dietitian, I work with adults, children and families in all areas of health and nutrition. I provide individualised advice that is specific to your needs, adaptable and easy to follow. Click here to find out more about individual consultations and how I can help you to feel amazing!


What does a day look like for me as a dietitian?

Working as a dietitian, my role is varied and I see clients with a range of different health conditions and goals. No two days are ever the same (which is why I love my job!). For example, I might spend my morning assisting a client on a weight loss journey, followed by a consult supporting a woman trying to concieve, and then assist a client in managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Each and every client is individual, has different goals and challenges, and is moving on there own journey.



I would love to hear from you, to support and guide you to reach optimal health. Click here and get in touch today to start your journey.


Emily x



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