Health & Wellness

Dietitian or Nutritionist?

In some parts of Canada, anyone can use the title “nutritionist”

By Wendy Haaf

If you don’t know the difference between a registered dietitian (RD) and a nutritionist, you’re not alone. According to the results of a recent survey of Ontario residents published in the journal Healthcare Policy, only 16.2% of respondents correctly identified the distinction.

Of the two titles, only that of RD is protected by law in Canada’s most populous province—which means that anyone can use the title “nutritionist.” RDs, however, must complete a degree in human dietetics at an accredited university and are overseen by a regulating body.

Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island have enacted legislation mandating the nutritionist designation for RDs only.

Image: iStock/T-kinoko.