A dietitian (also spelled dietician) is a therapist who specialises in the role of food and nutrition in health. This may involve creating eating plans to help manage medical conditions, promoting good health through healthy eating and providing education on good nutritional habits.
Dietitians often work as part of a wider multidisciplinary team of health professionals. For people with multiple sclerosis who experience swallowing problems, dietitians may suggest types of food and preparation methods that makes them easier to swallow.
Dietitian is a protected title. All dietitians must be appropriately trained and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Unlike dietitian, the title nutritionist is not a protected term. This means that anyone in the UK can call themselves a nutritionist without any formal qualifications. The Nutrition Society and Nutritionist Resource have lists of nutritionists.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) website includes an explanation of the differences between dietitians, nutritionists and nutritional therapists.
Last updated: February 2018
Last reviewed: February 2018
This page will be reviewed within three years