What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

Dietitians (major in in Nutrition and Dietetics) and nutritionists (major in Food and Nutritional Sciences) must hold a University degree in nutrition.  Nutritionists, which have not received internship/practicum in clinical nutrition and counselling, should focus on providing food and nutrition knowledge, theory, education (e.g. health promotion and work with healthy populations) and conduct nutrition research. In addition to the work of a nutritionist, dietitians are also qualified to provide individualized dietetic counseling including medical nutrition therapies, and give recommendations on nutritional supplements when appropriate. People who need to see dietitians for medical nutrition therapy are mainly those with chronic diseases, overweight/obesity problems and nutrition imbalance.

To know more about the credentialing and scope of pratice for dietitians and nutritionists in Hong Kong, please refer to the Position Statement by the "Taskforce for Local Dietitians Registration".*

*The above position statement was released in November 2016. The Hong Kong Academy of Accredited Dietitians (HKAAD) was later established in April 2018. The HKAAD has been accredited under the Accredited Registers Scheme for Healthcare Professions ("AR Scheme"), Department of Health, HKSAR Government as the accreditation body responsible for maintaining a register of Accredited Dietitians. This scheme aims to ensure service quality standards and provide more information to safeguard public health while strengthening the current society-based registration arrangements for the medical profession to ensure the professional standard of registered dietitians. For more information, please visit https://www.hkaad.hk/.

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