If you’re looking to improve your diet and want to get some professional help, it can be hard to know whether you should see a nutritionist, a dietitian, or your GP. While your GP is always a great first step for any medical or health issues, it’s useful to know the difference between nutritionists and dietitians.
A nutritionist is someone who uses their knowledge and understanding of nutrition to improve a person’s health and well-being. A dietitian is someone who can use their knowledge and understanding of nutrition not only to improve a person’s health and wellbeing, but also to assist in improving illness and medical conditions.
In Australia, all dietitians are considered to be nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are considered to be dietitians. This is because dietitians complete extra study allowing them to practice in clinical nutrition as well as general nutrition. This means that, in addition to being able to provide information about diet and nutrition to people to help to improve their health, dietitians are also trained to change a person’s diet to improve or manage long term health conditions such as obesity, allergies and diabetes.
Whether you choose to see a dietitian or nutritionist, it’s important to make sure they’re suitably qualified to help you. Qualified nutritionists will be registered with the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) while qualified dietitians will be registered with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).
Dietitians and nutritionists are not covered under medicare and only have limited coverage by most private health insurers. To work out the cost of visiting your preferred nutrition professional, be sure to ask about their fees before your appointment.