A Registered Dietitian is a regulated health professional who is licensed and trained to translate medical and nutrition information into practical healthy eating plans for you and your family. Registered Dietitians are the ONLY regulated nutrition professionals in the province of Ontario and must adhere to a set of laws defined by the Government of Ontario. The title “Dietitian”, on the other hand, is protected by law; that means only Registered Dietitians can call themselves "dietitians".
“Nutritionist” is not a protected title in Ontario; that means that in Ontario, nutritionists are not regulated health professionals; anyone can be a nutritionist without meeting any licensing requirements or specific training. Registered can mean anything, in the case of Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), Registered is a trademark. While some nutritionists may offer good nutrition advice, they are not licensed as health professionals and the quality of advice can vary significantly.
As registered health professionals, Dietitians must meet rigorous practice standards, including an accredited university degree with appropriate courses in sciences and nutrition, administration and humanities; a 9-10 month dietetic practicum (including placements in hospitals, community health centres and long term care homes); and, successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination. They must be registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario hold liability insurance to practice legally in Ontario.