OK, it is a bit of a minefield I know, but it really should be quite simple. Who do you trust with your health or that of your children? With so much confusing advice surrounding the topic of food and nutrition , it is surely even more important to fully trust the training and knowledge of the person you are paying to help you.
There are a lot of so called experts out there who have little or nothing in the way of proper qualifications and are happy to advise you about what to eat. You don’t get this with many other professions. We don’t let a lady in the queue in the post office examine our eyes, or let a random person take a blood test for us, do we? Although I am pretty sure that doctors get fed up with Joe/Joanne Public’s well meaning advice to their patients, and Dr Google diagnoses!
There are a lot of other professions that , with the nature of their jobs, will give some advice about what you eat. There will always be overlap between professions like Nutritionist and Personal Trainer for example. And an Osteopath or Homeopath may suggest ways to improve your diet. But in the same way I may advise a client to increase exercise or take a trolley to bring home heavy shopping, I would not dream of devising a training regime or treating a bad back . It is about knowing limitations.
I recently had a slightly heated conversation with someone claiming to be a qualified nutritionist. I asked her about her qualification. It turned out to be an online course she had bought for £35. She had no science background, no clinical experience and was selling a diet product. I would not trust her with my health, would you?
The problem with the term ‘nutritionist’ is that it is not a protected title, which means that anyone can call themselves that.
If you need to consult a nutrition professional make sure you find a Registered Nutritionist, or a Registered Dietitian. The ‘registered’ part is key and means that the person has achieved degree level education in the subject and meets the rigorous criteria to become registered as a member of one of these reputable associations.
If in doubt check anyone who is giving you advice about nutrition is on the relevant register:
The Association for Nutrition – for Nutritionists . Registered Nutritionists have a degree level qualification in Nutrition and normally at least 3 years experience. They work in private practice advising healthy eating, industry, public health, media as well as in the community in some NHS trusts. Companies like Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer etc. all employ Registered Nutritionists.
Registered Dietitians are regulated by the Health Professions Council and most work in the NHS or other clinical work advising patients on therapeutic diets in a wide variety of conditions.
If there is anything I can help YOU with, give me a shout! You can trust my advice and are welcome to check me out on the Association for Nutrition register!