What is a Nutritionist?
And how can they help you?
And how can they help you?
A Registered Nutritionist is a healthcare professional specialising in food and nutrition. They provide guidance on how to improve your health and wellbeing through dietary guidance. A nutritionist’s role is to take scientific research on how food interacts with the body and provide clients with practical nutrition advice to support their lifestyle.
Always check your nutritionist is registered with the Association for Nutrition (AfN).
All Odhealth’s nutritionists are fully certified.
Registration requires a nutritionist to have over 3 years’ practical experience, meet a list of professional competencies and demonstrate they are a reliable evidence-based practitioner. Registrants must keep up to date with scientific research within their field, taking part in regular training courses.
The AfN aims to protect the public from misinformation, like fad diets and un-qualified practitioners by continually auditing those on the register. Nutritionists must adhere to a professional code of conduct and must obtain professional indemnity insurance when working with clients one-on-one. The AfN is the only register of qualified nutritionists recognised by Public Health England and the NHS.
A nutritionist works closely with a client on a on-on-one basis.
Your nutritionist will help you to set clear short and long term goals effectively. They will help you develop a clear plan for achieving those goals through a combination of one-on-one consultations and tailormade written objectives.
They will be able to support you every step of the way to develop new eating habits and educate you with evidence-based nutrition guidance.
You may have tried many diets before with no avail but having the support of a nutritionist can help keep you accountable and motivated. A nutritionist will filter out the faddy diets and unhelpful information for you, creating a programme and way of eating that suits your lifestyle.
Nutritionists provide evidence-based information and guidance about the impacts of food and nutrition on the health and wellbeing of humans (at an individual or population level) (AfN, 2021). To be a Registered Associate Nutritionist, you must be a competent, qualified nutrition professional who meets their rigorously applied standards for scientifically sound evidence-based nutrition, and its use in practice.
Association for Nu trition (AfN). The UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists is the only register of qualified Nutritionists recognised by Public Health England, NHS choices, and NHS careers. The title of Nutritionist is not legally protected so it’s vital that when choosing a Nutritionist that you ensure they are registered with the Association for Nutrition.
Education and training
Registered Nutritionists can hold one of two titles:
1. Registered Associate Nutritionists (ANutr) are qualified to provide evidence-based information with a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate education (many go onto complete Masters).
2. A Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) carries the same qualifications but with an additional minimum 3 years experience (gained within the last 5 years) of evidence-based application of nutrition science in professional practice.
When would you talk to a Nutritionist?
If you would like reliable evidence-based information about food and healthy eating. Registered Nutritionists can use nutritional science, to help you meet your nutritional goals with personalised advice. They use nutrition as a preventative tool to ward off deficiencies and diseases.
Nutritional Therapists give recommendations on diet and lifestyle, often based on complementary ‘medicine’ recommendations not recognised as valid treatment in conventional medicine (BDA, 2021).
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (NCHC) is a voluntary regulator for complementary therapies including: aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, reflexology, reiki sports therapy and nutritional therapy. The title ‘Nutritional Therapist’ is not protected by law so it is important to fully vet the qualifications and experience of your therapist.
Education and training
A Nutritional Therapist does not need to have any formal nutrition training but qualification typically includes: a distance learning, online or short course, a diploma or a 3-year undergraduate degree in nutrition therapy accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Council/CNHC as meeting the National Occupational Standards for nutritional therapy. When would you talk to a Nutritional Therapist? When you wish to investigate alternative and complementary medicine.
Dietitians are qualified and regulated health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public-health level (BDA, 2021).
Healthcare Professional’s Council (HCPC) is the statutory regulator for 16 health care professions including dieticians. The title of ‘Dietician’ is protected by law and an individual must be registered with the healthcare professional’s council to use it.
Education and training
To be a dietician you must have BSc Hons in Dietetics (or a masters in Dietetics).
When would you talk to a Dietician?
If you have special dietary needs due to a health condition or would like information about food and healthy eating. You will often be referred to a dietician through your doctor.
A nutrition coach or nutrition advisor’s main purpose is to coach and guide people to making healthier choices.
Nutrition coach is not a protected term, and the variety of courses which train nutrition coaches is huge, with some achieving a level 3 academic in Nutrition and being recognised by Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) but many other only consisting of few online webinars on general nutrition concepts of poor quality.
There is no formal regulatory body for nutrition coaches because there are no regulated qualifications with ‘nutrition coach’ in the title, making it easy for anybody with an understanding of nutrition to call themselves a “nutrition coach”.
The role on a nutrition coach is more focused on encourage a client to overcome barriers that prevent them achieving their goals, but they are not trained to provide advice on how to manage conditions through diet and food.
A personal trainer is someone who is primarily concerned with physical exercise, and they will guide clients through working (usually in a gym setting) towards their physical goals.
As nutrition and exercise are so closely related when it comes to goals, there will naturally be questions you may have for your personal trainer about nutrition.
However it is important to remember that the nutrition training a personal trainer will complete is very basic.
Unless they have completed other qualifications outside of personal training, they will certainly not be able to give reliable advice about specific health conditions and you should absolutely work with a qualified nutritionist instead.
Insure4sport, the UK’s personal trainer insurance provider summarises: “Personal trainers should not provide prescriptive nutritional advice or develop bespoke individualised nutrition plans for clients.”
This means personal trainers should only provide general advice on healthy eating, rather than give specific, prescriptive advice to individuals.
All your questions about nutritionists answered below.
A nutritionist is a qualified nutritional professional with a minimum 3 years of undergraduate education on an accredited course.
Nutritionists are qualified to provide information about food, nutrition and healthy eating. The term ‘nutritionist’ is not a legally protected one so it’s important to ensure your nutritionist is registered with the Association for Nutrition - the only registered recognised by Public Health England and the NHS.
Registered nutritionists can hold one of two titles:
Nutritionists provide evidence-based information, advice and support and have a good understanding of the scientific basis of nutrition.
They can advise on how food and nutrition impact human's and animals' health and wellbeing. Qualified nutritionists can provide healthy eating advice and promote healthier lifestyles.
Nutritionists work in different roles, including one-on-one coaching, public health, health improvement, health policy, local and national government, the food industry, research, teaching, animal nutrition, sports and exercise industries, media and communications.
A nutritionist can support you to reach your health goals in a sustainable and timely manner using the latest evidence-based information. A nutritionist can support you every step of the way, whether you may be embarking on a new fitness routine, looking to manage your weight or to improve your relationship with food.
Nutritionists can support you throughout every stage of your life. Nutrition is important for pregnancy, babies, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and into older age. If you think you need support with your food choices and eating habits then there is no better time than now to speak with a nutritionist.
A Registered Nutritionist can provide evidence-based information on food and healthy eating. Nutritionists can support you with a wide variety of conditions, for example: weight management, high blood pressure, cholesterol, tiredness, sports nutrition, healthy digestion, mental health, diabetes, fertility, allergies and intolerances.
Only nutritionists with subject expertise can support those with pre-existing medical conditions alongside your current healthcare providers. These include autoimmune conditions, eating disorders, digestive disorders and other chronic conditions.
If you are receiving treatment for an ongoing medical condition, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider.
Yes, you can see a nutritionist if you are on prescription medication. Some foods can however interfere with your medication, so it is best to speak with your GP and let us know in your health questionnaire.
If you are receiving ongoing treatment for a condition which requires a specific diet, then always follow the guidance from your healthcare providers.
If you visit your GP for a medical condition which requires dietary intervention, you can request a referral to see a Registered Dietitian.
Nutritionists do not commonly work within the NHS but may provide dietetics assistance to weight loss or healthy eating groups. Dietitians can offer dietary advice to those with medical conditions and are permitted to alter prescriptions.
The NHS website provides guidance on healthy eating.
Nutritionists, dietitians and nutritional therapists are different roles with different sets of professional standards expected of those who practice in each field. There are fundamental differences between the work, and the registration requirements, of nutritionists, dietitians and nutritional therapists.
The title ‘nutritionist’ is not a legally protected term meaning it’s incredibly important to look into and understand an individual's qualifications before engaging with them. The Association for Nutrition’s (AfN) UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists is the only register of qualified nutritionists recognised by Public Health England, NHS Choices and NHS Careers. You can search their register to find out whether your nutritionist is registered. All Odhealth’s nutritionists are AfN registered.
There’s no one comprehensive data set to answer this question with prices varying enormously.
When comparing prices, bear in mind that most quotes are for the consultation only, not an accompanying plan.
Expect to pay £50-200 for a consultation alone and for 3-6 month packages, prices are typically from £350 and £600 respectively.
At Odhealth our pricing is a simple £35 for pay-as-you-go sessions or £50 per month for 2 sessions pay-monthly.
Every month includes two consultations and two action plans created by your nutritionist. We are able to offer these prices because of the efficiencies created by our innovative tech and economies of scale of being a LTD compared to a self employed individual.
You have a need or desire to change your diet, for any reason including:
Getting the correct nutrition information can be confusing especially when many claims to be nutrition experts.
There is a lot of false and misleading information circulating social media. Make sure your nutritionists is registered with the Association for Nutrition as are all Odhealth nutritionists.
What we eat affects our health whoever we are. However, it can be hard to establish what is fact and fiction and what food choices we should be making. Registered associate nutritionists (ANutr) and Registered Nutritionists (RNutr) will never give you a one-size-fits-all diet plan. Instead, you will get a personalised science-based program tailored to your needs and requirements.
This depends on your individual needs. The initial consultation will investigate your goals so that you can reach your desired results. Then a tailored plan is put in place.
Follow up sessions are crucial to success! These provide nutrition education at your leisure, tweak plans, review progress and work through barriers. Follow up sessions are recommended after 4 weeks which you can easily book through the Odhealth app. Here at Odhealth, we focus on long term sustainable goals.
Generally (in the UK) a dietician is someone working in a clinical setting. Losing weight is a goal that both a dietician and a nutritionist can help with, but you'll probably find it more flexible to work with a nutritionist. If your doctor has specifically requested you work with a dietician then follow their advice.
Yes. All registered nutritionists are required to have insurance.
All of our frequently asked questions and nutritionist information are answered by qualified AfN registered nutritionists, so you know you’re in good hands.
Alice Goudie Bsc, RNutr is an experienced Registered Nutritionist, specialising in personalised nutrition, cooking support and sustainable diets. Alice holds a Bsc in Food science and Nutrition and is a trained chef; her mission is to help people feel their best through tasty food and simple nutrition. Find Alice over on Instagram @roottonutrition for some foodie inspiration.
Seanin, ANutr. has an MSc in Human Nutrition from Ulster University as well as an MSc in Dietetics, with NHS experience. Passionate about nutrition and helping others, she is also Intuitive Eating accredited from London Centre of Intuitive Eating. You can find Seanin on SMS Nutrition.
All our nutritionists are registered with the Association for Nutrition – the nutritionist industry body and NHS and PHE recognised. There simply is no one more qualified to talk to you about your nutrition.
Odhealth: Registered Nutritionists Online.