Riverside, California (NAPSI) - Here’s food for thought: All registered dietitians (RDs) are nutritionists but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. It’s an important distinction that can matter a great deal to your health.

That’s one reason that, to strengthen the link between the science of dietetics and the overall wellness aspects of nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Commission on Dietetic Registration gave all registered dietitians a chance to use a new credential, “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN). This new credential helps directly convey the nutrition aspects of the training and expertise of RDs to consumers.

Registered dietitians and registered dietitian nutritionists must meet stringent academic and professional requirements, including earning at least a bachelor’s degree, completing a supervised practice program and passing a registration examination. RDs and RDNs must also complete continuing professional education requirements to maintain registration. More than half of all RDs and RDNs have also earned master’s degrees or higher.

They translate nutrition science into practical and applicable ways for people to bring nutritious foods into their daily lives and give people the tools to make realistic eating behavior changes.

RDs’ and RDNs’ expertise in nutrition and health is more extensive than that of any other health profession and has been recognized as such by Congress as well as federal health agencies like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Registered Dietitians Help Your Health

Numerous scientific studies found that medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian can lower health costs, decrease hospital stays and improve health. Medical nutrition therapy provided by an RD includes:

• A review of what you eat and your eating habits

• A thorough review of your nutritional health

• A personalized nutrition treatment plan.

You can ask your doctor if a referral for medical nutrition therapy provided by an RD or RDN is right for you.

Learn More

For more information about what RDs and RDNs can do for you, and to find a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist nearby, visit