The Experts Who Really Do Know Best
On Registered Dietitian Day, Seek Advice from the Professionals
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CHICAGO – If you need to remodel your kitchen, you call a licensed contractor. When your car has trouble, you take it to a mechanic. So why would you cut corners when it comes to your health by taking food and nutrition advice from a friend, Web site, or other non-expert?
“I have met people who wouldn’t dream of changing the oil in their car by themselves but will follow advice from a total stranger in a forwarded e-mail when it comes to losing weight,” says registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association Spokesperson Sari Greaves.
On Registered Dietitian Day — March 10, during National Nutrition Month®— the American Dietetic Association reminds everyone that the best source of practical, affordable and accurate nutrition information is a registered dietitian.
Registered Dietitian Day was created by ADA to increase awareness of RDs as the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and to recognize their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.
When seeking expert guidance on food and nutrition, Greaves says: “Look for the credential. While some registered dietitians call themselves nutritionists, not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. There is a very big and very important difference between the two.” While some states have licensure laws that define how a “nutritionist” can legally practice, in other states, virtually anyone can call him-or-herself a “nutritionist” with little or no education or training.
To earn the RD credential requires earning a bachelor's degree (about half of RDs hold advanced degrees), completing a supervised practice program and passing a registration examination, in addition to maintaining continuing education requirements for recertification. In addition, thousands of RDs have earned advanced specialty credentials in sports, kidney, oncology, gerontological and pediatric nutrition.
“Registered dietitians, especially those who are members of the American Dietetic Association, are the public’s best source of timely, accurate and reliable information on a healthy lifestyle, providing expert guidance that is personalized, doable and affordable,” Greaves says.
“A registered dietitian will be able to develop an individual and healthful approach for you,” Greaves says. “Rather than following a one-size-fits-all fad diet approach to weight loss, you will receive help that will target your needs, your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle and your individual health issues.
“A book cannot tell you if you are at risk for heart disease and a Web site can’t determine if you have pre-diabetes. These are questions that can be addressed through diet but require an individualized approach to achieve healthy, lasting results that are right for you.”
To find a registered dietitian in your area, log onto www.eatright.org and click on the “Find a Registered Dietitian” button on the right side of the screen.
The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.