Differences between nutritionists and dietitians

Nutritionist

The term nutritionist refers to both qualified nutrition scientists and naturopathic nutritionists. Some dietitians also call themselves nutritionists.

Nutritionists working in the natural health industry should have at least a diploma of nutrition, or equivalent, from a university or naturopathic college. Those working within a naturopathic framework are usually employed in private practice or in a holistic medical or complementary therapies centre. Practitioners will approach dietary issues differently according to their level of training and qualifications.

Dietitian

To become accredited, dietitians need university qualifications in science, nutrition and dietetics. Using scientific evidence, they modify people’s diets to help treat disease symptoms and to get the most out of food without the use of supplements. They often work within a conventional medical framework in hospitals, aged care facilities and medical practices.

For cancer patients, a dietitian works out specialised diets, helps with weight issues, and makes sure you are adequately nourished if you have eating difficulties. You may be given supplements if you are unable to meet your nutritional requirements through diet alone.

You might see a dietitian when you go to hospital, or privately after your treatment. If your GP refers you to a dietitian as part of a Chronic Disease Management Plan, you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate.


 

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends

SHARE
TOP BACK TO TOP