About Registered Dietitians
Registered Dietitians (RDs) in Ontario are uniquely trained food and nutrition experts. They are the recognized experts in translating scientific, medical and nutrition information into practical healthy meal plans and helping individuals, their families and communities to access nutrition for health.
Collaboration with clients, caregivers, and other health professionals is central to dietetic practice whether the RD works in a private practice or as a member of a health care team with health professionals such as medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and social workers. Together, they manage nutrition for health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of acute and chronic diseases.
Standards to become a dietitian include:
- an accredited 4-year or equivalent degree with appropriate courses in sciences and human nutrition, administration and humanities;
- an accredited dietetic internship or equivalent supervised practical training; and,
- successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination.
In contrast, individuals do not require any formal training to call themselves "a nutritionist" or to provide nutrition advice in Ontario. Only Registered Dietitians are considered for roles in hospital, nursing homes and government funded services because these organizations recognize their advanced education and training. As health professionals, Registered Dietitians provide nutrition services in a variety of settings in Ontario:
- community health centres
- family health teams
- home care, hospitals
- long-term care homes
- diabetes education centres
- public health departments
- sports and recreation facilities
- food industry
- academic and research settings
- private practice