A dietitian is a qualified health professional, who as well as providing general health advice, can also work with people with special dietary needs due to health conditions such as coeliac disease.
A nutritionist should be able to provide information about food and healthy eating, but not about special diets for medical conditions.
You can find a registered dietitian:
- by contacting your local hospital or GP surgery
- by searching for a freelance dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website, which is run in conjunction with the British Dietetic Association (BDA)
- through the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
The title “dietitian” is protected by law. This means you’re not allowed to call yourself a dietitian unless you’re properly qualified and registered with the HCPC.
Registered dietitians are regulated by the professional association for dietitians, the British Dietetic Association.
The title of nutritionists isn’t protected by law, meaning that anyone can advertise their services as a nutritionist. So it’s important to find a nutritionist who is appropriately qualified and registered by a trustworthy professional body.
The Association for Nutrition is a well-respected professional body for nutritionists in the UK and has a list of nutritionists who’ve received an approved level of training.
Search for a registered nutritionist near you on the Association for Nutrition’s website.
The BDA has a guide with more information on dietitians and nutritionists called Dietitian, Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist or Diet Expert? – a comprehensive guide from the British Dietetic Association (PDF, 659kb).
Read the answers to more questions about healthy eating.