I am often asked, what is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician? The answer is not as straightforward as it might seem. As I am a clinical Nutritionist with qualifications in Nutritional Medicine let’s firstly talk about nutritionists. The first distinction to make is that of ‘Clinical’ vs ‘Non-Clinical’ forms of nutrition services.
In contrast to the numerous forms of general health and wellness services and advice that are offered throughout many public forums in Australian society today, (including social media, books, websites, gyms, etc.), it should be noted that the word ‘clinical’ denotes a specific type of modality that involves consideration of the specific needs of a specific individual, within the context of their specific health history and circumstances, to yield specific interventions and actions that may assist with mitigating their future health risks, along with current health complaints, through private consultation and prescription. This separates many of the more general forms of ‘nutrition’ information, from qualified and personalised therapeutic ‘Clinical’ Nutrition advice and guidance.
Within the category of ‘Clinical Nutrition’ there also remains a further distinction to be made regarding Dietetics, (which typically forms part of the medical system in Australia, whereby a Dietitian supports the dietary aspects of a patient’s medical care, often within a hospital setting, on the basis of their classifications), and Nutritional Medicine (which typically constitutes a comprehensive and personalised approach to supporting the wellbeing of a patient, according to evidence-based natural medicine principles, that may draw upon biochemical laboratory testing, custom supplementation of nutrients as therapeutic agents, within an independent private practice setting).
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