Celebrating Dietitian’s Day!

Listen to Amanda Burton, a registered dietitian in St. John's, talk about the differences between a nutritionist and a dietitian.

Click here to watch Amanda Burton, a registered dietitian in St. John’s, talk about the differences between a nutritionist and a dietitian.

Once a year, a special day is dedicated to all dietitians across Canada. It celebrates dietitians as health care professionals, committed to using their specialized knowledge and skills in food and nutrition to improve the health of Canadians.

Today, March 20, 2013 marks the fourth anniversary of Dietitians Day. It spotlights the profession and reminds us that dietitians are the smart choice for advice on proper eating, good nutrition and healthy living.

Usually when teaching in classes about healthy eating I pose the question to kids “What do dietitian’s do and where do we work?”

Usually the room goes pretty quiet and I get a few whispers and mumbles about healthy eating and working in hospitals.

This is certainly a good place to start as to the many things dietitians do in the work force but there is oh so much more!

  • Dietitians are one of a kind; they have the distinct ability to translate the complex science of nutrition into practical solutions for you on healthy eating and disease prevention and treatment.
  • Dietitians are uniquely trained to advise you on food, healthy eating and nutrition. They have a degree in food and nutrition, from an accredited university. To become a Registered Dietitian an undergraduate degree is required along with an accredited internship program. I completed my Bachelor of Science at Memorial University here in St. John’s and continued with an Integrated Internship program at Mount Saint Vincent in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Dietitians must be members of a provincial regulatory body in order to practice. This ensures the public that they are receiving nutrition advice from a qualified professional.
  • Dietitians work where you live, work and play – in health departments, hospitals, health and wellness centres, food companies, universities, and recently I learned dietitians were on staff for the menu development of the International Space Station – very cool!
  • As consumers we can sometimes get overwhelmed with nutrition information – it’s sometimes hard to tell what to believe and not to believe. For good reason, when it comes to food and nutrition advice, Canadians trust dietitians most.

To find a dietitian in your area, visit www.dietitians.ca/find.

Also, you can click here to watch a short video from Dietitians of Canada featuring local dietitian Amanda Burton speaking a little bit about the differences between a dietitian and a nutritionist.

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

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