What is a Registered Dietitian?

Registered Dietitian is abbreviated as “RD”

A “Registered Dietitian” (“RD”) is a regulated title of a health profession and is protected by law. It is unlawful for anyone to refer themselves as a Dietitian or RD unless they go through the entire qualification process.

RDs are health professionals and leading nutrition experts who are uniquely trained to give advice on diet, food and nutrition. They use their nutrition expertise to support the population through health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, support and rehabilitation. They work in various settings such as hospitals, schools, public health clinics and family health teams, nursing homes, fitness centers, food industry, universities, research and in private practice.

What do RDs do?

  • Translate the science of nutrition into practical information that supports people in making healthy food choices throughout the life cycle.
  • Dietitians bring evidence-based decision-making to their practice and adhere to nationally established standards of practice, monitored by provincial regulatory bodies.
  • Dietitians are skilled at working with communities to identify capacities and facilitate community action by applying strong communication, negotiation and problem-solving skills to address nutrition and health-related issues.
  • Dietitians are skilled educators in promoting behaviour change relative to food choices, eating behaviour and preparation methods to optimize health.
  • Dietitians develop plans based on comprehensive needs assessments. They monitor progress, provide the needed ongoing supports and evaluate outcomes.
  • Dietitians act as a resource within the health care team and provide training to other team members and peer support workers.
References: 
College of Dietitians of Ontario: www.cdo.on.ca
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: www.eatright.org