- What is a dietitian?
Dietitians are regulated health care professionals who have received training on how to counsel and provide advice on diet, food, and nutrition. Dietitians help individuals make healthy food choices and will tailor advice and recommendations to a clients’ individual goals, preferences, and lifestyles. Dietitians are regulated and accountable for their knowledge and expertise, and are committed to provide accurate, evidence-based nutrition information.
- What is the difference between a dietitian and nutritionist?
The title “dietitian” is protected by law, just like physician, nurse, and pharmacist, whereas “nutritionist” is not a protected title in Ontario, which means anyone can use it. A dietitian can be also be referred to as “registered dietitian”, or “RD”. Just like all regulated health professionals, dietitians are required to practice ethically and to complete annual professional development to make sure their skills are up to date.
- What type of education do dietitians receive?
Dietitians have a university degree in food and nutrition from an accredited university program and over one thousand of hours of supervised, hands-on training through an internship or masters/practicum program. Dietitians are also taught how to read and grade scientific research articles so that the information they provide is based on the best available evidence.
- Who can benefit from seeing a dietitian?
Anyone looking to make healthy changes to their diet can benefit from a dietitian. Whether you are looking for nutrition advice on improving your health, preventing chronic diseases, or managing a medical condition with a special diet, a dietitian will be able to help you. All ages can benefit from seeing a dietitian, including babies, toddlers, adolescents, adults, and elderly people.
- Are dietitian services covered under OHIP?
There is limited coverage provided by OHIP for chronic diseases, including diabetes, chronic heart failure, hypercholesterolemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and fibromyalgia. Otherwise, nutrition services are not covered by OHIP, however most extended health care plans will cover the services of a dietitian. Call your extended health care plan to find out if you have coverage to see a dietitian. If you do not have coverage, let your employer or HR manager know that you would like dietitian services added to your plan. Visit www.dietitians.ca/employeehealth for steps you can take to get coverage.