Yolande Potgieter, Head of Profession for Dietetics
A Dietitian helps people make informed and practical choices about food, based on the science of nutrition. As well as diagnosing and treating dietary and nutritional problems, Dietitians teach the people to understand food, promote good health and prevent disease. People who want to lose weight, or to gain weight after an illness, or to improve their sports performance, all might want to visit a Dietitian. Dietitians also help people who have eating disorders, digestive problems, HIV or allergies. Dietitians may also focus on specialist areas such as children's health and diabetes. Nutritionists are different from Dietitians. Dietitians undergo clinical training to provide medical nutrition therapy for people with nutrition-related diseases. They motivate and provide nutrition counselling to empower people to make healthier food choices to change their behaviour and relationship with food to meet their nutritional needs. Dietitians are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the professional body is the British Dietetics Association.