A Dietitian is a health professional who has a Bachelor’s degree specialising in foods and nutrition as well as a period of practical training in a hospital and community setting. It takes at least 4 years of full-time study at a University to qualify as a Dietitian. Many Dietitians further their knowledge by pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral degree. Dietitians apply the science of nutrition to promote health, treat and prevent malnutrition and provide therapeutic dietary guidelines for patients, clients and the public in health and illness.
Protected Title, Regulated, Insured
In Ireland, since October 2016, the title ‘Registered Dietitian’ and ‘Dietitian’ is protected by law so that only qualified practitioners who have met the required education qualifications and continue to maintain their knowledge and skills through continuing professional development, can use that title. CORU is responsible for the regulation of health and social care professionals under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. Dietitians have public protection as their mandate. Dietitians are held accountable for their conduct and the care they provide both through the regulation process and through membership of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI). All members of CORU are bound by a code of ethics and professional practice.
Trust a Dietitian to Know About Nutrition
Nowadays, there are many people claiming to be nutrition experts who have very limited knowledge of the subject matter. These individuals do not offer protection to the public. Choosing the right person from whom to seek help and advice can sometimes seem to be a confusing task. This is not helped by an increasing number of self-proclaimed or alternative ‘nutrition practitioners’ emerging from informal courses. Such courses are not recognised by the State or by Irish Universities.
Unfortunately, for those who use the services of these unqualified ‘nutrition practitioners’, the advice or therapy provided may be ineffective, inappropriate and potentially unsafe (INDI, 2013).
For more information on the difference between Dietitians, Nutritionists and Nutritional Therapists please check out a fact sheet prepared by the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute by clicking here.
“Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual level and at a wider public health level. Dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and health choices” taken from the BDA ‘Trust a Dietitian’ campaign.