Nutrition Courses Through Correspondence Schools?
Q: I have been thinking about, based on my experiences with weight trouble, hypoglycemia, and illness as well as an avid interest in nutrition, work as a nutritionist. Someone told me the other day though that I shouuld be careful to make the distinction between a nutritionist and a dietician. As I understand it, the former primarily does research, and the latter does more planning of diets for others. Since my primary interest in finding a career has always been to help others, I thought that maybe of the two, being a dietician would be the best choice, though I am also very interested in research on nutrition. I've come to believe that different diets work for different people, rather than one diet being right for everyone. (Myself I do best on a higher protein and fat diet.) Have many of you seen dieticians/nutritionists? Did you feel that they helped you? Are there any opinions on the difference between the two? For any dieticians/nutritionists out there, do you have any suggestions as to where I could learn more about nutrition programs that are inexpensive (actually preferably free--I'm already a graduate student in another field and live on very little (so I guess this would be part-time for me)). Have you found the work rewarding? Has anyone done nutrition courses through correspondence schools?
A: Truth be known, anyone can call him/herself a nutritionist. Some of the supplement purveyors who post on this ng consider themselves nutritionists even though they've never been in an academic nutrition course. A registered dietitian (RD) has completed specific academic coursework and practical experience before they sit for the registration exam. I am an RD, and I do nutrition research. Other RD's can work in food service management, public health, private practice, or hospitals. To my knowledge, there is no ADA accredited correspondence course to gain the academic credentials to become an RD. You could call UConn, since they offer the academic coursework and (I think) have an internship. As you well know, there's no such thing as a free lunch in academia, although there are still a few internships that don't charge tuition. (The internship here at UNC-Greensboro does.)
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