What is the difference between a dietitian, a weight consultant, a nutritionist and a nutrition therapist?
We regularly hear this question in our practice. All these professional groups are involved in nutrition, where is the difference? Read here how it works.
A dietician is a specialist in the field of nutrition, both in sickness and health. You can go to a dietician for guidance when underweight, overweight or obese, but also for advice on medical complaints such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or, for example, intestinal complaints.
The combination of nutrition and medical background in the Nutrition and Dietetics study program means that a dietitian not only knows a lot about food, but also has medical knowledge. Based on your personal situation, options, preferences and medical complaints, the dietician advises and guides you to a different diet. Often this is done by going deeper into someone’s eating habits, but also the exercise and living habits are discussed.
The dietitian title is a protected title. A dietitian has completed the 4-HBO course in Nutrition & Dietetics and is registered in the independent Quality Register Paramedics. Every five years a registered dietitian must show that she has gained sufficient work experience and has followed sufficient additional training. Most health insurers require registration in the Paramedics Quality Register as a requirement for entering into a contract with a dietitian.
A weight consultant is trained to guide healthy people with weight problems. In general, a weight consultation guides people with a BMI between 18.5 and 30. For medical complaints or causes, a weight consultant should refer you to a doctor or dietician. Because the title is not protected, anyone can call themselves a weight consultant or food consultant. Even people without education.
Nutritionists are scientists who have completed the study Nutrition & Health. People who have followed (written) nutrition-related training also call themselves a nutritionist or nutritionist. For example, they work as an information officer at schools, companies and gyms. But others who have followed food-related training also call themselves a nutritionist. Because the title is not protected, everyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Even people without education.
People with a natural medicine background often use the term therapist. Because the title is not protected, anyone can call themselves a nutrition therapist. Even people without education.
It is therefore important to carefully check which courses someone has and to find out who you will be most at your place with.