What Is a Registered Dietitian (RD)?

A registered dietitian (RD) is a food and nutrition expert who is authorized to perform medical nutrition therapy. In addition, they are medical professionals that work with patients to develop a personalized approach to healing and well-being through a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.

How to become a registered dietitian

First, dietitians get their bachelor’s degree and must complete approved coursework in areas of chemistry, biology, counseling, food science, and food service management.

During this process, they complete a 1200 hour supervised internship then are required to pass the Registration Exam for Dietitians to earn the RD credential.

Many dietitians also have their master’s degree and some even go on to obtain their PhD. Overall, it takes about 6 to 8 years of additional education after high school to become a registered dietitian.

Fresh vegetables are one of many healthy foods registered dietitians recommend their clients

Goals

On the other hand, registered dietitians are not the food police! We believe in restoring a positive relationship with food and work with you to create a lifestyle that syncs your health goals with the foods and activities you already enjoy.

In fact, the key to a sustainable diet is to develop healthy choices that are practical for your unique need. This means being inclusive, not restrictive!  

Work environments

Dietitians work in many different settings including hospitals, doctor’s offices, private practice, public health programs, restaurants and hotels, corporate wellness centers, research facilities, school districts, college campuses, and professional sports teams – to name a few.

To learn more about registered dietitians or to find one in your area visit eatright.org.

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