Do you know the difference between dietitian consult and dietician consult? In terms of correct spelling, I’ll be breaking that down in today’s blog post. 

On Facebook, I see healthcare professionals irked by their titles misspelled. It’s a common mistake I’ve seen in emails, in front of office doors, job postings, and all across social media platforms. So is there a difference?

According to Time Magazine, “the word dietitian is among the 20 most misspelled words.” Often the spelling with a ‘c’ is assumed like physician and clinician, although the Academy is with a ‘t’. When considering this, it’s easily mistaken with a ‘c’ spelling unless told by a dietitian. 

You would think that in order to keep things simple that ‘dietitian’ would be spelled with a ‘c’, but not a chance! So why do we spell our profession with a ‘t’? Let’s take a look back at the history of ‘dietitian’ and its variant ‘dietician.’

Origins Of The Word Dietitian and Dietician

The spelling of dietitian with a “c” originated in 1845 after the groundbreaking of cooking schools whose graduates were often referred to as dietists. Later the word dietician was used to refer to a physician who specializes in diet.

In 1899, the word dietitian was coined to refer to a professional as one who specializes in the knowledge of food and can meet the demands of the medical profession for diet therapy. 

At the request of the international dietetic community, the International Labour Office confirmed the dietetic professionals, the official spelling is DIETITIAN. Although dietician is a variant spelling of dietitian, dietitian is most commonly used three times as much as the c spelling.

When we break it down, dietitian defines as a nutrition expert. Dietitians translate the science of nutrition into using that practice in everyday life. It is taking the science onto our plates, if you will, to make healthy eating attainable and sustainable.

Qualifications For Becoming a Registered Dietitian

Registered dietitians (RDs) are nutrition professionals who complete extensive coursework, an internship and pass an exam all in order to get their credentials. Dietitian vs nutritionist

  • A registered dietitian is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or dietetics. 

Students take a variety of science and food courses, such as chemistry, physiology, food science, and foodservice management. In addition, to completing volunteer hours in nutrition. 

  • Complete a dietetic internship of at least 1,200 hours. 

This includes an extensive supervised program of practice working in clinical, food service, and community health care corporations.

  • Pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians and fulfill the licensing/certification requirements of the state in which they plan to work. 

Licensing will either have RD, RDN, or RD/RDN stated which refers to Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

  • Fulfill continuing education requirements that renew every five years. 

Dietitian Job Description

Now that we’ve established the work that goes into becoming an RD, let’s discuss the basic functions that these professionals perform. 

A dietitian is a degree qualified health professional who:

  • Treats medical conditions through Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)
  • Helps to promote nutritional well-being
  • Prevents nutrition-related problems
  • Provides practical and safe advice, based on current scientific evidence

What does a dietitian do?

Dietitians can work in a range of different specialties, including clinical, community, and foodservice management. They are the expert in providing dietary advice and promoting healthy eating habits.

Clinical dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities. Their role includes developing and directing nutritional care to promote health and manage disease. Community dietitians educate the public about food and nutrition topics. They can work for non-profit organizations or public health clinics such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Foodservice management dietitians plan meal programs in foodservice settings such as hospitals, cafeterias, and food companies.

A list of day to day tasks that dietitians may be involved in can be found in this article.

In addition, many dietitians have their own private practice where they work with clients one-on-one to improve their eating habits and address chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

Dietitian vs nutritionist

The terms “nutritionist” and “dietitian” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. They are certainly related since both professionals work in the field of nutrition, but these titles have distinct qualities. 

The biggest difference between dietitians and nutritionists is the legal rights they each have. Only nutritionists who become registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) may legally declare themselves as dietitians. They must complete all of the necessary work outlined above in order to do this. On the other hand, the term “nutritionist” is much less protected under the law. 

Since the term “dietitian” is regulated and ensures that individuals with that title have completed extensive coursework and an internship, they are the ones who are allowed to provide medical nutrition therapy, whereas nutritionists legally cannot.

On the other hand, some dietitians choose to go by nutritionists or registered dietitian nutritionists to be recognized by the public.

Seeing a Dietitian

It’s safe to say that meeting with one of these professionals would be a good idea if you would like to make adjustments to your diet. Dietitians can make recommendations for healthy substitutes, provide tips for portion control, and offer advice for how to make specific improvements to your diet in order to manage chronic health conditions.

For example, a dietitian can work with those who have diabetes to count carbs and control blood sugar levels. They can also help individuals with other chronic diseases such as hypertension and COPD. 

Additionally, dietitians can help those with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. They are very knowledgeable about which specific foods are rich in these compounds. It’s also a good idea to consult with a dietitian as you get older in order to ensure that you are aging healthfully. 

Dietitian Consultation Services

Our dietitian team provides a variety of nutritional services to senior care facilities, hospitals, schools, and corporations. We believe in using quality nutrition to have quality patient outcomes. Certain needs for a consultation may include, but not limited to, gaining weight or weight management, proper hydration, specialized diets, drug interactions, practical lifestyle advice, wound care, tube feeding, meal planning, and having a pleasurable experience while eating.


What our dietitian consultation services include