FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DIETITIAN, NUTRITIONIST, NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST, NATUROPATH -WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Choosing the right person to seek help and advice from can sometimes be a confusing task. Many people claim to be experts in nutrition yet have very limited knowledge and offer no protection to the you.
Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level. They work with both healthy and sick people. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
Nutritionists work in non-clinical settings and often in the private sector in Bermuda. Nutritionists are qualified to provide information about food and healthy eating. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, it is not a regulated profession in Bermuda and there is no Register of Nutritionists in Bermuda.
Nutritional therapists encompass the use of recommendations for diet and lifestyle in order to alleviate or prevent ailments, often based on complementary ‘medicine’ recommendations not recognized as valid treatment in conventional medicine. Some training is provided through the Institute of Optimum Nutrition and other informal routes. Voluntary regulation is possible but not compulsory overseas, but this is self-regulated in Bermuda.
Naturopaths and Naturopathic Doctors who provide nutrition advise are not evidenced-based and their advise is often based on pseudoscience (non-science claiming to be science). They often provide herbal treatments to treat different conditions.
Many other individuals may identify as ‘diet experts’ or ‘nutrition experts’. Some may have no more qualifications than an interest in food. This is also largely a self-regulated industry where anyone can set up and practice, meaning there is no real protection for the you.
We advise you to ask the person you consider taking advice from about their background and ensure they are properly qualified. If you have any questions you can contact us to provide clarification, or speak with your family physician.
HOW DO I BECOME A REGISTERED DIETITIAN IN BERMUDA?
Please contact us and we will send you the Dietitian Registration Criteria (2020)
from the Council of Allied Health Professions and Board of Dietitians.