Dietitians and Nutritionists

Registered dietitians have a broad-based knowledge of foods, dietetics, and food service. They have at least a bachelor's degree in food science or related field from a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND); they have completed a ACEND-accredited supervised, experiential practice program; and they have passed a registration exam. The term nutritionist can refer to a variety of people because regulations covering the use of this title vary from state to state. In some states, anyone—even those with little or no specialized education or credentials—can set up shop as a nutritionist. For the purposes of this article, however, nutritionist refers to certified clinical nutritionists. CCNs have the same core educational and internship backgrounds as RDs. In addition, CCNs are specialists who have completed a certain amount of postgraduate education that focuses on the biochemical and physiological aspects of nutrition science.


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