What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

When it comes to food and nutrition, the healthcare professions that come to your mind can be either a nutritionist or dietitian. Ever wonder if you should search for “private dietitian” or “private nutritionist”?

Yes! There are differences between these two professions:



Dietitians assess and provide dietary advice to treat nutritional problems, including disease management such as diabetes, malnutrition, cancer, and etc. 

Dietitians also provide dietary advice for disease prevention and promote healthy eating in individuals and the community.

Dietitians use a food-first approach that takes into consideration your lifestyle, medical conditions, medications, and does not promote any unnecessary health supplements.


Nutritionists provide nutrition advice to the public on how to achieve a healthier diet and lifestyle. They do not provide medical nutrition therapy for disease management.


Dietitian is a regulated term. In order to earn this title, dietitians need to obtain at least a Bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics from an accredited university. They are also required to complete supervised training at clinical, community and food services settings.

To maintain accreditation, they will need to fulfil certain hours of continuing education as well.


Accredited nutritionists are required to obtain at least a Bachelor degree in Nutrition. However, there may be some self-proclaimed nutritionists who do not obtain any qualifications.

It is advisable to look for those with accreditation if you plan to seek advice from a nutritionist to ensure that you are getting reliable nutritional advice.

Although currently there are no regulations for dietitians and nutritionists who practise in Singapore, there is a professional organisation that implemented an accreditation scheme to ensure that the members have credible qualifications and expertise.

Health Tips: 
You can find out the list of accredited dietitians and nutritionists to make sure you are receiving evidence-based dietary advice.

When should you see a dietitian?

You can consider a dietitian consultation if:
There are many more situations in which you could get advice from dietitians. If you would like to find out more about diet, don’t hesitate to book a session with us.
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