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

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

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 treatments 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 clients’ 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 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.

Dieticians 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.


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 Bachelor of Health Science degrees and Honours programs in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture and Myotherapy, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine and  HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.

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