The title Registered Dietitian, Professional Dietitian, and Dietitian are protected by law through provincial legislation. Only those qualified practitioners with the required educational qualifications and who have met national standards can use these titles.
The letters RD, RDN, P.Dt., Dt.P. and R.Dt. are the legal designations for qualified Registered Dietitians in Canada.
Law does not protect the term Nutritionist in all provinces, so people with different levels of training and knowledge can call themselves a Nutritionist. Some qualified Dietitians may call themselves a Nutritionist, Registered Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, or Nutrition Consultant. Dietitians are regulated health professionals, and in some provinces such as Ontario, they are members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario, therefore ensuring that province’s first priority of protecting the public. Look for their legal designations to be sure that you are talking to an expert.
Registered Dietitians are your trusted experts.
A variety of titles have been used by unqualified people to describe their involvement in nutrition related practice. Many use the term registered with a variation of nutrition as a title. You should be careful to ensure that the person is a qualified and regulated nutrition professional. You can contact Dietitians of Canada or the Provincial regulatory body to obtain a list of Dietitians in your area.
Typically dietitians working in a hospital or health care institution will have a job title that uses the term dietitian and will focus on the clinical care of the patient or manage food service. Dietitians working in community settings will typically have a job title that uses nutritionist and focus on healthy eating and wellness at various stages of the lifecycle.
Dietitians are uniquely trained to advise you on food, diet, supplements and nutrition.