3132 Dietitians and nutritionists

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Lead statement

Dietitians and nutritionists plan, implement and oversee nutrition and food service programs. They are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, home health-care agencies and extended care facilities, community health centres, the food and beverage industry, educational institutions, and government and sports organizations, or they may work as private consultants.

Example Titles

  • research dietitian
  • nutrition specialist
  • registered dietitian (RD)
  • administrative dietitian
  • clinical dietitian
  • dietitian-nutritionist
  • consultant dietitian
  • dietitian
  • nutritionist
  • public health dietitian
  • public health nutritionist
  • community nutritionist

Main duties

Dietitians and nutritionists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop, administer and supervise nutrition and food preparation and service programs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, company cafeterias or similar settings
  • Provide nutrition guidance, label interpretation and consultation services to health professionals, individuals, dietetic interns, community groups, government and the media
  • Evaluate nutritional status of individuals and aid in the prevention and/or treatment of inadequate nutrition
  • Plan, evaluate and conduct nutrition education programs and develop educational materials for various audiences
  • Practice on an individual basis or as a member of an interdisciplinary team to determine nutritional needs of patients and to plan, implement and evaluate normal and therapeutic menus to maintain and enhance general health
  • Analyze current scientific nutritional studies, conduct research and evaluate program effectiveness to improve the nutritional value, taste, appearance and preparation of food
  • Work within industry in the development, testing and evaluation, and marketing of food and nutrition products or as a company representative supplying product related information to health professionals
  • Confer with other health professionals, community groups, government and the media to provide consultation and advice in areas of nutrition interpretation, intervention and policy
  • Supervise training of dietetic interns.
  • Dietitians and nutritionists may specialize in areas such as administrative dietetics, clinical dietetics, community dietetics, public health nutrition or research dietetics.

Employment requirements

  • Dietitians require a bachelor's or master's degree in dietetics, nutrition or a related field such as food and nutritional science or biochemistry and A period of supervised practical training.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required in all provinces for dietitians.
  • Membership in the national association, Dietitians of Canada, may be required for dietitians to practise.
  • Nutritionists usually require similar education and training as dietitians.
  • Registration with a regulatory body is required for nutritionists in Nova Scotia, (as a registered dietitian-nutritionist) in New Brunswick, Quebec and Alberta.
  • Membership with the national association, Dietitians of Canada, and/or a provincial regulatory body is available for nutritionists who have the same education and practical training as dietitians.

Additional information

  • Dietitians and nutritionists may progress to management positions through additional experience.

Exclusions

  • Dietary technicians (in 32193219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health))
  • Directors of dietetics (in 03110311 Managers in health care)
  • Food service supervisors (63116311)
  • Home economists (in 41644164 Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers)