A nutritionist is a non-accredited title, not protected by law, that can be used by anyone who’s done any kind of coursework in nutrition – anything from an online six-week course to a master’s degree. Always ask about coursework and accredited qualifications.
A registered nutritionist in NYC is also a nutrition and food specialist that has studied nutrition from an accredited university – usually a master’s program or doctorate. Other fields of study that apply include degrees in: Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food and Nutrition, or Food Technology. Instead of nutritionists, they are often referred to as Food Scientists.
All dietitians are nutritionists, though all nutritionists are not dietitians. Some healthcare professionals get specialized degrees in nutrition to complement their work as physicians, physician assistants, chiropractors and more.
To be certified as a nutritionist, there are two boards: The Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (C.N.S.) and/or The Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (C.C.N.), both of whom require a master’s degree in nutrition or a related degree with certified practical experience before sitting for the exams. The State of New York has a licensure for CDN’s – Certified Dietitian-Nutritionists. And now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has offered us RDNs for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.