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What is the difference between a Clinical Nutritionist and a Dietitian?

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Thursday, 18 October 2018

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Both Clinical Nutritionists and Dieticians practice evidence-based medicine and hold the same overarching vision – better food, better health and wellbeing for all. However, the two practices draw on different philosophies.

Clinical nutritionists use a holistic approach to healing, taking into consideration the whole person, mind, body and soul. This approach is evidence-informed, meaning research findings and traditional medicine knowledge are combined to inform treatment plans.

Clinical nutritionists recognise that disease is complex and is caused by a combination of factors. As a result, clients are given individualised care in response to their health. 

Clinical nutritionists mostly work in primary and secondary healthcare. Primary care is a client’s first point of contact with the health system, often at the preventative or early stages of health-related issues. Secondary care is generally for acute health-related issues requiring intervention.

Clinical nutritionists can also work in an advisory capacity in food-based roles for food companies aligned with their holistic approach to health and wellness. Increasingly, clinical nutritionists are working in community and public health, either independently or alongside dietitians and other health professionals.

Dietitians use knowledge in the science of nutrition to advise on an appropriate diet, food preparation and menu planning to treat and manage nutrition-related disease.

Dietitians often work in tertiary care in hospitals, private practice, nursing homes and community settings delivering individual dietary counselling, medical nutrition therapy and group dietary therapy for the management of disease and illness.

Dietitians can also work in an advisory capacity to the food industry in product development, creation of educational material and resources for industry, community and schools as well as developing food and nutrition policies for government and non-government organisations.

Interested in learning about Nutrition?

Set the pace towards a happier, healthier you. Find out more about Endeavour's Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) and range of Nutrition Short Courses.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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