The terms nutritionist and dietitian are sometimes used interchangeably. In most cases a nutritionist, or nutrition educator, works in a community or health-promotion setting, while a dietitian works in a clinical setting. In international health and nutrition programs, the term nutritionist is generally used, and training, activities, and levels of responsibility can vary greatly. However, some U.S. states have licensure laws that define the requirements and scope of practice for a nutritionist. Persons who wish to practice in these states must meet the eligibility requirements to obtain a license.
Dietitians in the United States are credentialed by the profession's accrediting body, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), as registered dietitians (RDs). Dietetic technicians, who assist in program service and delivery, are credentialed as dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). In some settings, such as long-term care facilities, DTRs may be responsible for day-to-day operations, with guidance from a consulting dietitian. see also American Dietetic Association; Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR); Dietitian; Nutritionist.
Judith C. Rodriguez
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