Nutritionists Are Fighting for Their Rights in the States

nutritionTwo of the biggest battlefields right now are the legislatures of Michigan and Wyoming. In both cases, laws preventing the best-trained nutritionists from practicing have been passed, but citizens are now attempting to get the Michigan law repealed and have the Wyoming law changed during a critical rulemaking period.

As we have reported previously, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), which used to be the American Dietetic Association, is working state by state to create a legal monopoly and shut out certified nutritionists who may be more qualified. The organization sponsors bills which ensure that only AND-registered dietitians can offer key nutrition services to the public. This not only discriminates against many highly qualified nutritionists (including those who, unlike most Registered Dietitians, have Master’s degrees and PhDs). It also interferes with consumer choice. If trained nutritionists cannot become licensed, they can’t practice—and consumers can’t benefit from their expertise.
For a long time, the Dieticians’ HQ has worked to get their monopolistic bills passed quietly. Once the bills become law, they have held off on pressing for enforcement in order to fly under the radar and and get as many state bills passed as possible. Now that they know we know what is happening and are fighting hard, they are trying new tactics—though we find them equally underhanded.
For example, AND/ADA encourages its members to increase complaints about other nutritional practitioners. It makes the state dietetics boards look busy and important. The Michigan Dietetic Association even hands out prizes to members who file complaints about other nutritionists! This state organization offers its members a form for “documenting harm and/or potential harm from unqualified individuals dispensing nutrition advice and/or products”:

This information will help us make a stronger case to our legislators regarding why we need to have State Legal Recognition of the “Registered Dietitian.” These cases will also help to show why the Registered Dietitian is a necessary member of the healthcare team as the most qualified provider of medical nutrition therapy and nutrition services.

Not only do they target certified nutritionists, they also target supplement use and supplement advice on the same form as being “potentially harmful”:

With regard to supplements, specifics regarding type of supplement, frequency of usage, approximate cost, ingredients, and dosages are helpful. In clinical settings, laboratory data (trends), weight history and diet history before and after R.D. intervention are helpful too.
This is just further evidence that the practice of Dietetics is firmly in the institutionally controlled conventional medicine camp, and is openly hostile to integrative medicine and natural approaches to healthcare.
Note: Be sure to watch the original music video about the AND’s collusion with junk food industry Conflict of Interest by Rob Herring. If you download the song from iTunes, 10% will go to ANH-USA’s efforts to protect nutrition therapy from AND’s monopoly attempts.

In Michigan, Public Act 333 became law in 2006. Under the law, Registered Dietitians are automatically eligible for licensure, but other professionals who incorporate nutrition services into their practice may be prohibited from doing so because they “may subject the public to harm.” However, as the law’s critics point out, “More harm has come from people not understanding how nutrition can improve or destroy health, than from seeking nutrition counseling. The promoters of this law claim the public is being harmed without this law, yet there is no such evidence of harm.”
Naturopaths, chiropractors, certified nutritionists with Masters’ degrees and PhDs, and numerous others would be unable to offer nutrition care services to the public despite having completed post-secondary coursework, supervised training, and certification exams. Since then, our allies in Michigan, spearheaded by the Michigan Nutrition Association, have been working with Michigan’s Office of Regulatory Reinventions (ORR) to get the law repealed.
A huge breakthrough came last month. The ORR recommended that eighteen occupations be deregulated, one of them being Dietitians and Nutritionists. The ORR also recommended that Michigan’s Board of Dietetics and Nutrition be eliminated along with eight other occupational boards. This is a huge step, especially since it is much harder to get a law revoked after it’s already on the books.
Action Alert! If you are a Michigan resident, please contact the your legislators today and ask them to take the ORR’s recommendation seriously and introduce legislation to deregulate dietitians and nutritionists. Please take action immediately!
In Wyoming, a monopolistic AND/ADA-sponsored bill became law recently: the Dietetics Licensure Act. It says that the practice of dietetics and nutrition is controlled by the Dietetics Licensing Board, and practitioners are those credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, which is run by AND/ADA.
The law is currently in the rulemaking process (in general, legislatures first set broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then agencies create more detailed regulations through rulemaking). The Wyoming Dietetics Licensing Board’s proposed rules include a public comment period through June 6. ANH-USA will submit formal comments in an attempt to to mitigate damage from the law, though we are opposed to this bill altogether and feel it should not be implemented.
Action Alert! If you are a Wyoming resident, please contact the Dietetics Licensing Board today and ask them to make substantial changes in the rules to be more inclusive of other nutritionist professionals. Please take action immediately!
In New Jersey and New York, bills are currently pending that would give more power to Registered Dietitians and severely discriminate against other nutrition specialists.
New Jersey residents, please contact your legislators here.
New York residents, please contact your legislators here.


  1. I am a nutritionist in Michigan, and a huge proponent of natural health. I have to disagree with this action alert, as it would actually be more hurtful to someone in my situation and to nutritionists in general in Michigan.
    I agree that the law as it stands is a little too restrictive. There should be more exceptions in regards to chiropractors, naturopaths, etc. Additionally, I think that there shouldn’t be a law against the practice of nutrition by health coaches, etc.
    This being said, I followed the law and got a master’s degree in human nutrition from a regionally accredited school that focuses on natural health (University of Bridgeport). I did my internship hours and was about to take the CBNS exam for CNS certification. This would allow me to be state licensed as well. Although I can still become a CNS (certified nutrition specialist) which is respected, although not well known, I can no longer be state licensed. This means that I will have no means to bill insurance companies, or work in hospitals, or many other jobs. This means that those practitioners who decided to go to a school that does not teach the outdated and wrong principles of the ADA/AND will essentially be cut off from the mainstream of the medical profession. Additionally, my lack of state license will make it more difficult to earn respect from doctors who will be referring patients to me. Many will refuse to do so.
    You can see that in order for CNS nutritionists to get more respect and to be able to insert natural health principals into the mainstream of medicine, laws like this are important. Rather than asking for a repeal of the law, I would recommend the ANH simply ask for it to be amended so that no one will be breaking the law by practicing nutrition. It would only be against the law to call yourself a “nutritionist” or “dietitian” without licensure. “Nutrition coach” or “nutrition counselor” etc. would be fine.

  2. I shudder to think of having read statements by R.D’s that GMO’s are okay to eat and no science proves their harm to human beings or even to animals, each alike.
    These R.D’s have bragged, on open forum, of being the *only* science-based nutritional “experts”. Are they kidding? This is just amazing.
    It is no coincidence that more than 80% of our nation wants to know about GMOs in foods.
    Please know that I am not talking about articles written ages ago. I am talking about something I read in a magazine, very recently, just months ago.
    Some of these “science-based” RD’s also drafted recipes that combined multiple starches into one dish. A good recipe for diabetes, if you ask me!
    This is shocking.

    1. Eating carbohydrates….whether it be the right amount, too much, or not enough….does not make you diabetic. A registered dietitian would know that. Using multiple forms of carbs in a dish also does not cause diabetes. Just saying.
      ~A Registered Dietitian in Maryland

      1. Now, Brandy, even YOU, an RD, must know that eating too many simple carbs are a major contributor to Type 2 Diabetes. Really, this comment is proof of why we need to allow nutritionists to practice outside of gov’t. licensure!!

        1. Did she say anything about “simple carbs”? I didn’t read that. Maybe it’s my poor dietetic education…
          Please be more specific. So if she creates a recipe for a dish made with quinoa, black beans and carrots (all carbs), is this going to be detrimental to her diabetic patient? (portion size aside) Please enlighten me.
          Do you think that recommending organic, raw and GMO-free food to every client is going to make you that much more effective? Do I eat, encourage and support these types of food? ABSOLUTELY. However, if I recommend a purist diet to my rural based clientel, I will lose them. I will not help them at all. If I can get a man who eats pizza and Big Macs every day to cook at home and snack on veggies once in a while, that is a HUGE step toward improving his health. Because this man may be your uncle and you are mad that I did not tell him to go vegan or cut out all processed foods, that doesn’t mean he was not given good advice, for HIM.

  3. A quote from the article, “This is just further evidence that the practice of Dietetics is firmly in the institutionally controlled conventional medicine camp, and is openly hostile to integrative medicine and natural approaches to healthcare.”
    The pharmaceutical based medical industry with all of its lobbyists don’t want the truth that nutrition is more effective at curing disease than their drugs, to become widely know. If they can control the AND, they can limit the amount of effectiveness coming from their “licensed” nutritionists.
    ANH, you are doing a fantastic job at keeping us informed of what is happening nation wide – Thank You!

    1. For work in nutritional medicine a graduated in the medical school needs to specialize in the medical nutrition area . Again, he will learn the affects of determined food in the human physiology, but he doesn’t study the food. Why the professionals cannot work in a multidisciplinary team here. It is a big word, and I never see this in practice here in the USA. Why the doctors don’t work together to registered nutricionists and together they could find a better treatment for the clients. We do this in the “called” 3th world???????

  4. The problem is also in IL. The bill is SB 2936.
    Synopsis As Introduced
    Amends the Dietetic and Nutrition Services Practice Act. Changes the short title to the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act. Provides that any person who practices, offers to practice, attempts to practice, or holds oneself out as being able to provide dietetics and nutrition services without being licensed under the Act shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, pay a civil penalty to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in an amount not to exceed $10,000 (instead of $5,000) for each offense as determined by the Department. Reduces the number of members on the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Board to 5 (instead of 7). Provides that to qualify for licensure as a dietitian nutritionist, the number of hours completed in a dietetic internship or documented, supervised practice experience in dietetics and nutrition services is a minimum of 1,200 hours (instead of 900 hours). Provides that the Department may, with regard to any license, refuse to issue or renew or may revoke, suspend, place on probation, reprimand or take other disciplinary or non-disciplinary action as the Department may deem proper, including imposing fines not to exceed $10,000 (instead of $1,000) per violation, for any one or any combination of specified offenses. Creates a provision concerning the confidentiality of all information collected by the Department in the course of an examination or investigation of a licensee or applicant. Repeals provisions concerning transition and deposit of fees and fines. Makes other changes. Amends the Regulatory Sunset Act to extend the Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act from January 1, 2013 to January 1, 2023. Effective immediately.

  5. Would you trust a doctor, a nurse, a teacher that did not have the correct education, license and met minimum educational guidelines? The answer is no. If you think you are doing the country a service by allowing certain nutritionists to be allowed to practice, the answers till no. Most unlicensed individuals are not only ineffective but can cause a great deal of harm. Most promote therapies and diets not based on science and unproven to work. Wake up America! Nutritionists need licensing. Registered Dietitians are the best suited to perform these task. There are many branches from holistic RDs to clinical RDs, just like doctors there is a specialty. If you believe licensing is not ok then I dare you to take your child to an unlicensed doctor next time he/she has an emergency. This isn’t just nutritional advice, it can affect the lives of our children and current state of health forever. Yes to licensing.

    1. It is amazing I am from a “called” 3 world Country and we have our Nutricionist Board and if someone want to register in Nutrition has to graduate in minimum 4 years BA in Nutrition in a credit University. It is interesting that here in USA any bruxo, crystal incubador, guru, Chiropractors can do anything until kill somebody, I went to Nutrition School for 21/2 years. It is very hard because you really learn everything about the foods starting with each molecule that it is formed and the causes and consequences of it in human physiology. In the first year you learn all chain nutrients of all possible foods? With all the molecules. Do you know how many pieces of paper you need for write down a protein chain of a chicken egg? Just a chicken egg?? 11 pieces. For we don’t live again in the dark age, we need to have a minimum of the regulation. It is the minimum regulation for any career. It is funny how the Chiropractors here can do anything. They go from God to Evil. In my Country Brazil they are just Tecnicians in the Physiotherapy career. And for you be a Physiotherapist also you have to have a minimum 4 years of BA in Physioterapy in a credited University.It is funny every body is DOCTOR here. One exa: My son plays baseball and had a shoulder enjury. The coach reffered to a team DOCTOR. Ok! I called to that DOCTOR to make a appoitment and ask waht is the DOCTOR specialization. The secretary got offended and was rude telling me that the DOCTOR is working for more that 20 years, blablablablabla,….and nobody asked to him his registration number. I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU THAT IS MY RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT SPECIALIZATION THE DOCTOR HAVE AND THE RESTRITATION NUMBER. SHE HANG UP ON ME. lmfao….Well, I went to all the possible boards to figure out who a hell was that DOCTOR. Guess what he never went to a medical school or have a MD in something. He is just a Chiropractor. BUT IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HE IS A DOCTOR.

    2. Suzanne, show me the proof that most unlicensed nutritionists “do a great deal of harm”. No one has ever died from an overdose of Vit. C. By licensing all nutritionists, you force all to conform to a very biased, corrupt system that does less for health and more to pad the pockets of big industry, the FDA & Dept. of Ag. When looking for nutritional practitioner, one would be wise to do their homework and find out if the person has experience, training and credentials to do their job well. They are allowed to think rationally and independently of any industry-backed institution looking to profit its sponsors. I know many who have helped people with issues that Drs. with years of training and experience could not. Please, by all means, DO NOT force licensing on certified nutritionists!

  6. One of my two granddaughters has a university degree as a Dietician. Having worked for over a year at a large health food store in Atlanta, GA, she was thoroughly disgusted during the course that her instructors knew very little about health and healthy eating, instead following the FDA “Food Pyramid”. She chose another profession, as a teacher, instead.

  7. The regulation of everything and anything is just a scam to give certain groups power and lock certain groups out . The health and well being of the individual is irrelevent to these greedy power hungry organizations , government and otherwise . Nobody that can and want to help people should be restricted in doing so until they cause injury to someone and then dealt with individually .

  8. A bill of this sort was blocked earlier this year in Colorado. Thanks to ANH, word got out early and there was a huge outpouring of opposition to the committee hearing the initial bill. The problem with the final amended version was that on one page it said no one would be restricted from practicing nutrition, and on literally the next page it gave a list of exactly how other providers were allowed to practice, including providing “nutrition services” based on criteria set by the National Academy of Sciences. I searched this academy’s website but could not find any information on their connection to nutrition. So much for no restrictions on others.
    Dietetians receive education that is based on the USDA’s Food Shape of the Week. For starters, doesn’t it seem odd that the Department of Agriculture is setting nutrition standards, not the Department of Health and Human Services? (Not that I would trust them any more). There is a simple reason for that: they are therefore able to push the interests of their grain industry, thus the ridiculous advice in years past to eat those 6-11 servings of grains per day that now have so many people ill with diabetes, gluten problems, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and the list goes on. I applaud dietitians who stand up against this absurdity.
    My concern is licensing only those with this particular education sends the message to the American people that this is the only valid nutrition information. The public unfortuately doesn’t always educate itself as it should, so it is important that other voices be heard in the field of nutrition.
    Go Michigan and Wyoming, Colorado stands with you!!

  9. I took a Nutrition class in college, in which the professor stressed that information from an R.D. is more credible and trustworthy than from a nutritionist, because the R.D. went through all the proper and required education and training to get their R.D. status, while self-proclaimed “nutritionists” did not.
    So, I’m trying hard to understand why the topic of this article is a concern. If naturopaths, chiropractors, certified nutritionists with Masters’ degrees and PhDs, etc. are so knowledgeable on the subject of nutrition, why don’t they just become R.D.s? In addition to leveling the playing field, it would ensure everyone was playing on the same field, would it not?

    1. Nutritionists are not lesser than RDs – they are a different profession. The difference is similar to the difference between psychologists and psychiatrist. A psychologist can be very highly qualified, but provides different services and with a different philosophy of practice than a psychiatrist. It would be absurd to say that only psychiatrists can provide mental health services, and that psychologists should become psychiatrists.
      The issue is also complicated because RD is a professional certification, while nutritionist is an unprotected general term. There are several professional certifications available to nutritionists which are just as, if not more, rigorous than the RD certification. They include CCN (certified clinical nutritionist) and CNS (certified nutrition specialist). Legislation that restricts nutrition counseling only to RDs but not CCNs, CNSs, etc. would be like legislation that restricts the practice medicine only to MDs and excludes DOs, NDs, and so forth. They’re not lesser doctors; they just obtained a different certification based on a different philosophy of healing.

    2. I’ve been a registered dietitian since 1979, I started that degree program at age 30 and even then it was obvious that the profession was riddled with mindless twits.
      We were taught that “You can’t criticize the use of sugar, there is no evidence it is harmful” and “there is no difference between white flour and whole wheat”. This list could go on and on. They teach carb is carb is carb. About 6 years ago I was counseling a pregnant 17 yr old with terrible low blood sugar problems. Luckily her mother was there or I wouldn’t have believed her when she said she was told by a hospital RD to eat lots of potatoes and pasta. Surprise, surprise, she felt awful.
      The dietetics profession is no different from any other, especially in the medical field. They want a monopoly and achieving it is their primary goal. Miuch support for these licensure initiatives comes from Big Pharma.
      However, there are many RDs who would agree with me, altho probably not enough. I dropped my membership in 2004 when they stated that GMOs were fine and RDs were in the perfect position to explain that to clients. Then I was not allowed to join any “practice groups” (special interests like clinical, vegetarian etc.). The vegetarian group I belonged to told me that so many people were dropping membership that they blocked membership in the practice grouops in hopes of holding on to those members.

    3. Thank you for the explanation. Perhaps I need to do more research on the differences between a nutritionist and a R.D.

      1. Also check out the differences between holistic nutritionists and RDs. Holistic nutritionists talk about whole food diets with food as close to nature as possible including (dare I say it) raw , unpasteurized milk (much healthier than pasteurized) milk, grass fed proteins (from animals that haven’t been fed soy or been given antibiotics — just good old-fashioned green grass in the summer and some fresh hay and veggies, bugs in the winter), organic fruits and veggies and good, saturated fats like virgin coconut and palm oils, butter and ghee.

    4. what the RD’s learn is wrong, that is why they don’t become RD’s. RD’s learn what our government and the ADA wants them to learn.

    5. The RD is a private practice credential, not an academic credential. To require that all “nutritionists” be RDs is like saying that anyone who wants to work in computer technology must pay fees and be accredited by Microsoft in order to work in the industry and anyone who doesn’t, isn’t qualified. The major employers of RDs are federally funded entities such as WIC so requiring that their nutritionists be RDs is a direct misuse of public funds as public funds should not be used to fund one private organization elusively.

    6. I’d like to answer the question as to why someone who wanted to practice dietetics/nutrition wouldn’t just get their RD. Here is the problem:
      It takes four years in a program in dietetics to apply for an internship that is supervised by a different entity than your educational institution (some however do have an internship but they are few and far between). Once you get finished paying for 4 years, it’s difficult if not impossible to take an entire year off and PAY the internship a fee to sponsor you. Yes, you’d have to take off a year with no pay. This locks out all but those who are rich enough to pay. Can someone say, “The poor and minorities have it extra tough?” Next, there are so few internship slots of even those who are willing or can pay are not guaranteed a shot. I decided this wasn’t worth it to me. I couldn’t afford to take a year off without pay. Instead, I pursued my master’s degree in nutrition (I TA’d to help offset the cost) studying the relationship between body weight, waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol. Now I have my doctorate in education. I can do as much as an RD except for work in a hospital. I prefer not to work with sick patients and instead work with well people to prevent them from becoming sick. If the RD licensure became more equitable, I would pursue it. As it were, I am more qualified to offer nutrition advice than most RD’s who only have their BS degree.

  10. Honestly people, who are you trying to fool here? The Registered Dietitian credential is essentially a 5 year college program. You need a full 4 year Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited University, then you have to apply for a year long internship program/supervised practice(these are highly competitive, many with only 5-6 openings for the year and more than 100 students applying for each slot). Many of the supervised practice programs require additional coursework to complete your Masters degree. The next step is to sit for the minimum competency exam. The exam is automated and is designed to test your knowledge base how food is digested, assimilated, and utilized by the body in healthy conditions and with medical conditions that can be improved through diet intervention. Sanitation and food safety are covered along with the preparation, production, serving of food. Food security issues and government regulations as well as knowledge of subsidy food programs are tested. Once you pass this rigorous training and testing, you can practice as a Registered Dietitian. Some of the people who are threatened by this are likely to have less rigorous training. If you are questioning whether a practitioner is offering sound advice, ask for evidence of unbiased research supporting their recommendations. RD’s can provide it, can you?

    1. It doesn’t mean that what they are learning is correct. If what they know is so correct, why are the people they treat so sick, or still sick I should say. My sister was a diabetic and her sugar was 340 and it should be around 80. What did the RD’s give her for a menu? 40gms of carbs per meal, her choice of any cereal for breakfast or toast and jam with OJ! They are out of their mind. Their advice is wrong.

      1. The RD was not wrong. In carbohydrate counting we teach “a carb is a carb is a carb”. The body does not know the source of the carb (jam vs OJ or anything else carb) and limiting carb per meal to 40 gm is the key here. Carb counting has made meal planning for people with diabetes much more flexible, enjoyable and therefore more likely to be adhered to.

    2. What is at the heart of the debate is that there is a difference between nutrition and dietetics. Nutrition is the study of the nutritional content of food and how it is digested, absorbed, and assimilated by the body. This is common to both fields and enables a practitioner to advise people on healthy eating. Dietetics goes on to study food safety, food management systems and nutritional services for hospitalized patients. While this is valuable, it is absolutely not a necessity for the practice of nutrition and advising on eating for health. This difference is what accounts for the appearance of extra schooling by dietetic programs, not that dietetics programs offer better education.
      The battles that are taking place are happening because the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is attempting to eliminate or control the competition that nutritionists present via state legislation. Nutrition programs often provide an alternative view of what people should eat from that of the AND, one that is not driven by government and political policies like those of the AND. The American public is finding these alternative approaches effective, thus the competition. I don’t know of any nutritionist orgranization that is backed by the likes of Coca-Cola, Hersheys, etc.

    3. Impressive amount of education involved for your degree. There are many book smart RD’s out there who still believe aspartame is safe. Many RD’s will argue that oganic food is not healthier for you. Suggesting that thier bachelors was not in chemistry and they have no knowledge of how pesticides damage the human body. ETC ETC. It all goes on and on.
      Honestly people, who are you trying to fool here? The Registered Dietitian credential is essentially a 5 year college program. You need a full 4 year Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited University, then you have to apply for a year long internship program/supervised practice(these are highly competitive, many with only 5-6 openings for the year and more than 100 students applying for each slot). Many of the supervised practice programs require additional coursework to complete your Masters degree. The next step is to sit for the minimum competency exam. The exam is automated and is designed to test your knowledge base how food is digested, assimilated, and utilized by the body in healthy conditions and with medical conditions that can be improved through diet intervention. Sanitation and food safety are covered along with the preparation, production, serving of food. Food security issues and government regulations as well as knowledge of subsidy food programs are tested. Once you pass this rigorous training and testing, you can practice as a Registered Dietitian. Some of the people who are threatened by this are likely to have less rigorous training. If you are questioning whether a practitioner is offering sound advice, ask for evidence of unbiased research supporting their recommendations. RD’s can provide it, can you?

  11. It’s all a power play and people like Monsanto are at the bottom of it paying for the right to be top dog and order the universe. IF WE LET THEM, THEY WILL ROB US OF OUR RIGHT TO CHOICE. Big pharma will be a total monopoly along with Monsanto and Dieticians. One simple problem in my own sphere of reality My mother, WHO WAS IN THE HOSPITAL could not digest the beef they sent her (this was on her chart AND WE REQUESTED CHICKEN) so the dietician sent her VEAL? Anyone know what veal is? BABY COW? Now who taught that Registered Hospital dietician? NO COW PLEASE. They are so NOT WHAT I WANT IN CHARGE OF MY DIET.

  12. As someone who is obtaining a PhD in Nutrition, I am shocked that just because I choose not to become a traditional RD makes me unqualified to share my knowledge and skills with others in order to make them healthier??!!?! However, I do agree that some people out there call themselves “nutritionist” with no formal training and are misleading the public.

  13. The thing that disturbs me most about this article is how narrow-minded it is and how anecdotal the comments. I’ve read comment after comment that uses one story about a bad experience to label all RDs essentially idiots. (Do you even KNOW how diet orders work or about RD involvement in a hospital setting ?) If you have not been through a dietetics program, invested a year of your life working for free in a supervised internship program and studied for a very rigorous exam, you have no idea what we have gone through to EARN our credentials. Do not dismiss us.
    That said, not all RDs are the same. I do not see eye to eye with many RDs and certainly do not promote the ADA/AND cause, largely. I obtained my Master’s degree in nutrition from the leading Naturopathic school in the country and belong to one of the largest DPGs in the AND–DIFM (Dietitians in Intergrative and Functional Medicine). Just because I am an RD does not mean that I am “openly hostile to integrative medicine and natural approaches to healthcare.” In fact, quite the opposite. To make such an assertion is ingnorant at best. My grad school pushed the idea that if we want to change things (in AND) it is best done from within, otherwise you have little credibility to make any real change. And hearing the philosophies of interns that have been coming through our internship program as of recent years, I feel confident that there will be a shift towards a whole foods and intergrative approach to dietetics (in AND) in the years to come (oh I hope).
    It is difficult as RDs to go through what we do to obtain our status and have someone come along and tell us that a self-proclaimed “nutritionist” should be allowed to practice at the same level as us. I do not oppose another type of licensure designated to someone proven to have met certain qualifications, but it should be clearly stated that they did not have the same rigorous training as RDs. If you disagree wtih my statement, please provide some some factual information on which to base your argument, rather than just, “my Mom saw an RD in the hospital…” I have plenty of anecdotal evidence of non-RDs providing bad nutrition advice, as well as some who have offered sound advice.
    You all might have a little more credibilty to your arguement if you weren’t seething with hostility. Then maybe we could all work TOGETHER for the benefit of public health.

    1. I am not a dietitian although at one time I considered it as a career. My interest here is not about dietitians specifically but a study of required qualifications of various health care specialties. Just what does the term ‘registered dietitian’ really mean? I understand the training involved however I’m not impressed. I’ve had access to a number of specialty groups in the ADA/ANF, and have been surprised, shocked, incredulous, you name it at some of the communications among members(particularly the groups involved with weight management). There ARE some serious discussions among some very highly trained individuals but that there are ANY really STUPID questions/discussions is a completely unacceptable situation in a group that calls themselves “the nutrition experts”. (Should taxpayers be footing the bill for incompetent counselors?)
      And apparently even “RD” isn’t enough for employment in some states where licensure is required. As one student said to me “I will have to PAY to practice (in a licensure state) so as long as I’m in this field I will stay where I am (no licensure state). There’s something a little off in this situation.

  14. It appears that we are all being culled into systems designed from corporate powers with a faint interest in the actual need of such credentials but more geared towards controlling the direction of any given occupation to align with a corporation’s productivity. I’m all for having quality training but when the garbage man needs to have a sanitation engineering degree, we will truly realize that society is being subjugated largely by those that have the clout and cash to implement their ‘brand’ of education. All this aside, by simply looking into history, if all the great minds that went against established thought were subjected to a rigid institutionalized system… we would possibly still be using leeches medically approved by a bishop. So sayeth the Monsanto Medical Board!?!

  15. they’ve already destroyed holistic and natural nutritional counseling in Florida. i am a CNC certified through a school (GCNM) in California and a former member of American Association of Drugless Practitioners. i wrote a one half page article back in 2007 (when i received my certification) in a public Florida weekly about the benefits of organic foods. i was reported by a local RD to the Florida Dept. of Health who told me that i could be arrested for ‘impersonating a nutritionist’ if i ever included the initials ‘CNC’ after my name in Florida. i was also told that I could be given a summons of hundreds of thousands of dollars for giving unprofessional and unsolicited medical advice (the benefits of organic foods as medical advice?). the ADA or whatever their name is now is nothing more than a witchhunt organization trying to destroy anyone who threatens their power and prestige. this group must be stopped and natropathic nutritionists (with credentials) must be allowed to make a living and practice, in addition to helping a very sick population that is being denied true nutritional advice. even if our advice threatens entire industries (like 80% of the processed foods industry and factory farming, to list just a few) it must be permitted to practice. how about joining ranks and sueing the ADA for defamation and financial loss? there has to be a way …..

  16. I think it is good they are making these strict laws. Proper nutritionists need to have a proper and thorough understanding of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology. Majority of dietetics program do offer this education, which is why they are more eligible. I am enrolled in one and graduate soon. Nutrition is more complex and I am considering going to medical school to further my understanding of the human body and disease with nutrition therapy my primary focus. If someone is so passionate about nutrition, they should go earn a bachelors degree at the least to prove it.

  17. This is a field that I have been very passionate about for the last ten years. I have never been able to pursue a degree in dietetics because we are constantly moving around due to the nature of my husband being in the military and have never been stationed somewhere close to a school that offered that program. I was motivated to pursue a M.S. in Nutrition to get certified but was quickly discouraged by someone from the National Institute of Whole Health and wow…it is disturbing and outright unprofessional to degrade each other. I have spent over a month researching the different M.S. in Nutrition curriculum’s from regionally accredited universities as well as Dietetic curriculum’s. From my understanding…preparing to become a Certified Clinical Nutritionist is not an easy way out to earn the credentials to counsel. Furthermore, they are required to have intense knowledge in biochemistry and physiology. There is a vast difference in their curriculum’ but nonetheless intense training in their field. I personally lean towards the whole person theory and it is unfortunate that this profession feels the need to protect themselves by bashing the other. This unfair practice in treatment towards highly qualified nutritionists will hopefully end someday. I do not believe that anyone that has not gone through appropriate training should call themselves a nutritionist…that is like placing the Dr. initials in from of your name without becoming a doctor…it is absurd. Those titles should be protected but to say that someone that has a masters or PhD in nutrition has no idea what nutrition is and can’t counsel; is ridiculous.
    I challenge you to look into the Gerson Institute, and the 40+ years of research performed by T. Collin Campbell. Nutrition is the foundation of good health through real food….not fortified cereals and the million and one other products out there that are considered food. Having had the opportunity to live in Italy, South Korea and travel for months at a time to different countries…the food system and what is recommended by the government is a disgrace.
    I urge you…not as a professional because I have yet to obtain my degree; but as a consumer who depends on sound advice to team up and fight together for fair licensing as nutritionist professionals.
    How can professionals think they are going to gain any respect and credibility by our nation in nutrition if you guys are fighting like high school kids.
    I admire the amount…

  18. I completely disagree with this article. As someone who studied 5 years to get a bachelors in Nutritional Science and 2 years to get a Masters in Nutrition AND did 1200 supervised hours in clinical practice in MNT to pass the RD exam and become a Registered Dietitian, I 100% agree no one should be able to slap on the name “nutritionist” and give people nutrition advice that they most likely found off the internet or grew up thinking. Nutrition is science-based and as an RD i feel responsible to protect the public from false information from people who call themselves “certified nutritionist”, if you do have a masters or PhD then take the RD exam… if what you’ve been teaching is correct, it should be easy…. And supplements can be dangerous, if you never studied nutrition-medicine interaction, you can make a situation worse and not even know it.

    1. Personally I agree with his point that it is possible for somebody not certified through the Academy to be more skilled than an RD. I’ve seen it happen lots of times. Like i said, it all comes down to the skill of the individual. Education and Dietietic Internships only go so far. As a DTR I have met one or two very bad registered dietitians who just made me think “wow. how is she an RD?” The Academy as a whole is very skilled, but it all comes down to the skill of the invididual, which means, it is possible for somebody not certified to know their stuff. However the laws and regulations are in place for a reason and they should be followed.

  19. I won’t argue that it is possible for a nutritionist not certified by AND to be more qualified than a RD or NDTR. Theoretically, it all comes down to an individuals resume and individual competence – a fact that annoys even me since I myself am only a NDTR. However, from a general standpoint, it is a bad idea for just anybody to go around giving out nutritional advice. Those credentials are in place because thats the best possible way to differentiate between qualified and unqualified practitioners. There are a lot of ways that an uncertified nutritionist can potentially harm somebody. Danger zones might include grapefruit and grapefruit supplements, anything related to cancer (or any health concern altogether. working with sick populations -in my mind- falls in the realm of clinical work. and kudos to you if you feel comfortable facing the liability risks), anything related to infant care is also a danger zone

  20. I COMPLETELY disagree with this article also. As an RD, I completed 5 years of college with a Bachelors Degree, 1200 hours of supervised internship and passed a very intese National Exam. To be quiet honest, it took every bit of that to be competent for what I do as a RD! Someone with a PhD or Masters in another field may have ZERO hours of Nutrition education or the MATH education required to do what we practice every single day!! It could be very dangerous practice to allow someone to call themselves a Dietitian or Nutritionist who is an unqualified practitioner. There is so much more involved than simply “healthy foods” or food temperatures. The push behind The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is to PROTECT THE PUBLIC who are putting their life in the hands of an unqualified, inadequately educated individual. I can assure you that in order for an RD to practice, she has to be qualified or she would never pass the National Exam.

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