Ask the 'experts'

Over the years I have met so many ‘nutrition experts’ and it is surprising to who people trust when it come to nutrition advice.

So why is it important to know who is treating/looking after you. Lets think about it like this …

If you were diagnosed with diabetes would you want a diabetes consultant and his team or someone that’s done an online course or practised non-traditional medicine to treat you? Where would you feel safer?

So who are nutrition professionals? Are they the same?


The only nutrition professional to be regulated by law. They must follow and ethical code, be registered professionals and work to the highest standard possible.

Qualifications: will have a minimum BSc, MSc or post grad qualification in Dietetics. Check for the HCPC number or RD behind the name. If you cannot see this, you can check the register online –

What do they do?

1. They interpret the science to help individual to treat, manage and prevent disease stated such as diabetes, weight, allergies, malnutrition etc.

2. Give evidence based up to date advise

3. Can legally prescribe certain medication and drugs


Professionals that provide information on food and healthy eating on a national level. Commonly work in public heath, government and non-government organisations and health policy.

Nutritionist is not protected by law which means anyone can call themselves nutritionists. You can find a nutritionist who has done a 2 day online course or one that have a ¾ year degree

However, only those who have their names on the UK voluntary register of nutritionists can call themselves a REGISTERED NUTRITIONIST (AfN).


Degree in nutrition or courses that have been accredited but the Association for nutrition. Those how are not registered may not have met the requirements et by the AfN

What do they do?

1. Usually do not treat disease states but can work in prevention and provided healthy eating advice.

2. Work in industry, sports, teaching, research media


They work in complementary medicine as to conventional medicine and use methods that may not be backed by science and research.

Law does not regulate the title and anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, nutritional therapist, diet expert, health coach, and nutrition expert.


Often the person will have courses or foundation degrees or other accredited qualifications to support their practise.

There is a separate voluntary register through the Complementary and Natural Healthcare council (CNHC) and the therapist can be checked on

What do they do?

1. See clients privately who want to consider alternative medicine


Not usually qualified and may have a simple interest in food. Will be self regulated. Many may be advising based on personal experience.

So how do you know you have the right person?

1. Ask them to share their qualification and credentials

2. Look them up on the register

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