Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose A Dietitian

Why choose a Registered Dietitian?

Choosing the right person to seek advice from about food, nutrition and diet can sometimes be a confusing task. Many people claim to be experts yet have very limited knowledge and offer no protection to the public.

To find out the difference between a dietitian, nutritionist and nutritional therapist please read the BDA booklet

Registered Dietitians (RD’s) are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems for individuals.

Dietitians can advise on an extensive range of food related problems in both healthy people and those in ill health or disease.

Dietitians are uniquely qualified to translate the science of nutrition into easy to follow advice for all aspects of diet and nutrition.

Dietitians are impartial in their advice and do not favour one brand or company over another.

What is a Registered Dietitian?

Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. ‘Dietitian’ is a protected job title.  Only those registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the title of Registered Dietitian (RD).

The HCPC’s role is to protect the public. The HCPC keeps a current register of health professionals who meet its standards and takes action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. Registered professionals must keep up-to-date through compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Check the HCPC website to see if your professional is registered.

The minimum requirement to work as a Dietitian is a BSc Honours in Dietetics or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in Dietetics.  Our training includes biochemistry, physiology, applied sciences and research methods which underpin nutrition and dietetics. These are complemented by social and behavioural sciences and the theories of communication to support the development of skills required for professional dietetic practice.

We also undertake a period of supervised practice within NHS settings, where we must demonstrate clinical and professional competence before being eligible to apply for registration.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is the professional body and Trade Union for dietitians and is also responsible for designing the curriculum for the profession.

What To Expect

What to expect in a session

Initial Assessment (90 minutes) –

  • A detailed nutritional assessment that reviews your medical and physical activity, as well as your food habits (previous and current)
  • Initial goal setting and nutrition education
  • Planning for subsequent session(s)
  • Supporting nutrition resources.

Follow-up sessions (60 minutes) –

  • Involves reviewing your progress with goals
  • Identifying road-blocks
  • Re-evaluating goals to match identified needs
  • Further nutrition education on identified needs / priorities
  • Supporting nutrition resources

What happens in my session?

  • Individualise my approach to meet your unique needs.
  • Assess your clinical nutrition needs.
  • Anthropometry monitoring (weight, height, body fat, blood pressure)
  • Take the time to get to know you, your concerns, fears and goals.
  • Provide a meal plan, plan for eating or guidance toward a balanced relationship with food.
  • Assist you in developing improved eating, exercise, symptom, weight and body image patterns.
  • Help you understand the roles of nutrition, weight, activity and body image in overall health.
  • Partner with you to develop steps toward symptom management and improved physical health.
  • Provide education on the functionality of nutrition related to physical and mental well-being.
  • Work collaboratively with your treatment team to provide comprehensive care.
  • Work closely with loved ones, parents and professions to ensure you have collaborate care.