A dietitian alters their patient's nutrition based upon their medical condition and individual needs. Dietitians are regulated healthcare professionals licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat nutritional problems.
A registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)] is a dietitian who meets all of a set of special academic and professional requirements, including the completion of a bachelor's degree with an accredited nutrition curriculum, an internship at an approved health-care facility, foodservice organization, or community agency, and satisfactory performance on a registration exam.
Roughly half of all RDNs hold graduate degrees] and many have certifications in specialized fields such as sports, pediatrics, renal, oncological, food-allergy, or gerontological nutrition. After learning about a patient's health history, favorite foods, eating and exercise habits, the RD helps the person to set goals and to prioritize. Follow-up visits often focus on maintenance and monitoring progress.
Most RDs work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, as part of medical teams), often in hospitals, health-maintenance organizations, private practices, or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of registered dietitians work in community and public-health settings, and/or in academia and research. A growing number of dietitians work in the food industry, journalism, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs, and other non-traditional dietetics settings
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