What Prompted This Post?
I was on an elevator with a doctor (not an intern) in one of the hospitals I worked in (I won’t mention the name), and he looked at my badge and asked me what the RD stood for! While shocked, somehow I came up with this witty reply: “If MD stands for Mentally Deficient, then RD must stand for Really Dumb!” Thankfully, the elevator doors opened for my timely escape. Needless to say, I did NOT stay at that hospital for long!
What Is a Registered Dietitian?
Registered dietitians, or RDs, are THE food and nutrition experts, translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. The expertise, training and credentials that back a registered dietitian are vital for promoting positive lifestyle choices.
When you need food and nutrition information based on fact or need to know how a healthy diet improves health and fights disease—rely on qualified professionals in the field.
Registered dietitians draw on their experience to develop a personalized nutrition plan for individuals of all ages. They are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. A registered dietitian can put you on the path to a healthy weight, eating healthfully and reducing your risk of chronic disease.
RDs work in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food industry, research, private practice and more. Many RDs have certifications in specialized fields such as diabetes, sports, pediatric, renal, oncology or gerontological nutrition.
An RD can provide sound, easy-to-follow nutrition advice. Here are a few of the benefits of working with an expert.
- Between what you hear on TV and read in the news, eating right can seem like a real challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. A registered dietitian can help you weed through nutrition misinformation and provide sound, easy-to-follow nutrition advice.
- Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is essential to managing diabetes, and choosing nutritious foods and monitoring portion sizes help keep blood sugar levels as stable as possible. If you have diabetes, a registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can help manage the disease while ensuring you get the nutrients you need. A CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) can also be an RD with specialized training.
- Individuals with kidney disease likely need to follow a diet with specific daily amounts of certain nutrients to help prevent progression of the disease. A registered dietitian nutritionist can teach patients how to eat well and manage this vital part of their health plan.
- WEIGHT CONTROL is always a huge concern. No powdered meal replacement or pill is going to help you control your weight effectively. A registered dietitian will work with you one-on-one to look at your current diet and fitness routine and help you develop a personalized plan that will work for you!
- Dietitian’s can help with sound nutrition advice through all stages of life: Pregnancy & Lactation; Breastfeeding, Picky Toddler & Food Jags, Teen Athlete Needs, Nutrition as we Age, Geriatric Nutrition and Palliative Nutrition.
Some RDs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The RD credential can only be used by practitioners who have met specific educational and professional requirements.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (previously the American Dietetic Association) recently changed the credential to Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist (RDN). So when looking for sound nutrition advice, whether from a “Dietitian” or “Nutritionist”, always make sure to look at their credentials. If they are Registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration in the US,then they can call themselves an RD or RDN. They will have a card to prove it!
What Are My Credentials?
I HAVE BEEN A REGISTERED DIETITIAN FOR OVER 25 YEARS – NOW, I GUESS, I AM A REGISTERED DIETITIAN-NUTRITIONIST IN THE USA! I AM ALSO A CERTIFIED DIETITIAN-NUTRITIONIST WITH THE NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT. THIS IS WHAT OTHER STATES MIGHT CALL A LICENSE TO PRACTICE AS A DIETITIAN-NUTRITIONIST IN NYS. I WAS ALSO A CERTIFIED DIABETES EDUCATOR FOR 10 YEARS.
I HOPE YOU FIND MY BLOG USEFUL AND INFORMATIVE!
Adapted from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics web page.