What exactly is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

I very, very, very regularly get asked what the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is. 

And as a dietitian… I don’t exactly know! So I chatted to Alex Thomas from Sports Nutrition Australia, because he’s smart, and he does. 

Have a listen to find out exactly what the difference is, and who might be the best fit for you.


Jono: Welcome, welcome back. I was gonna say welcome back to the Bite Me Nutrition podcast. But I don't really know if we want to call it that I think this is a this is a different thing. This is a joint chat. I have Alex Thomas with me here from Sports Nutrition Australia. So firstly, Alex, say hello, say hi, who are you? What do you do? Why

Alex Thomas: Hey

Jono: do you

Alex Thomas: everyone.

Jono: do it?

Alex Thomas: Thanks for having me, Jono. I'm Alex Thomas, as he said, I am from the Sports Nutrition Association based in Australia. And what do I do and why do I do it? What I do is we look to establish the standardized best practice of sports nutrition within the regions which we operate, which is Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or certain Asian countries, the USA, Canada, and certain European countries at this point in time. Why do we do that? Because nutrition is an unregulated space. It is the Wild West. I would love to say it's not it still is, unfortunately. Check back with me in 10 years time and we'll see if that's changed.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, the Wild West is just that phrase that keeps coming up. Hey, it's, it's horrible. It's a shame because there's some really fantastic bodies out there, like governing bodies, not good looking bodies. Although,

Alex Thomas: Hmm.

Jono: but anyway,

Alex Thomas: There's some good looking

Jono: yeah,

Alex Thomas: bodies

Jono: there's,

Alex Thomas: too.

Jono: there's both, there's both, but today we're going to be talking more about the governing bodies and I guess scope of practice that big conversation and really looking at the difference between nutritionist, dietician, sports nutrition, a sports dietician. And I guess maybe some even just some of the problems or gray areas in some of those industries as well. I know that particularly the term the phrase nutritionist can be can be a whole host of things right from very, very

Alex Thomas: Big

Jono: legitimate,

Alex Thomas: time.

Jono: very structured, you know, with tons of new scope around it through to someone deciding that they just want to call themselves a nutritionist and And so we're gonna unpack, I guess, why that is happening, what the differences are. Maybe we could chat about what to look out for. If someone is just looking to get some nutrition help, how can they not get burnt? And then also if someone is looking to study nutrition and get into nutrition, how can they make sure that they are picking somewhere good, doing their due diligence, making sure that they're getting an actual scope of practice, they're getting the right insurances, they're doing the right pathway. So I'm going to hand over to Alex because he's got the I think you described it as the formal part of it. So Alex is actually prepared for this chat. So give us the give

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: us the background.

Alex Thomas: okay. So the I guess the skeleton of the structure of this is going to go and really the burning big rock behind this all was we get asked frequently.

Jono: Oh.

Alex Thomas: So we're going to try our best to have this as a resource to explain what the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian is. So that's our primary big rock in what we're trying to address.

Jono: with a snappy pull quote as well. So we need to make sure we can extract a 45 second snippet.

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: Don't know

Alex Thomas: So

Jono: if that'll be doable.

Alex Thomas: we're gonna be answering that burning question of what is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian for one. And then we have some small little subcategories of that. So what's the difference between a dietitian and a sports dietitian? What's the difference between a nutritionist and a sports nutritionist? And then getting into some of the weird, wonderful other areas where people aren't nutritionists. I should have had my nutritionalist shirt on. Damn it. I have missed

Jono: I mean, the prime

Alex Thomas: an epic

Jono: opportunity,

Alex Thomas: fashion

Jono: we'll fix

Alex Thomas: opportunity

Jono: it in post,

Alex Thomas: here.

Jono: we'll fix it in post.

Alex Thomas: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We'll need to pop this in. Where it's what we call or credit to Kyle Webber, the physique coach came up with it years ago. Um, but he calls them nutritionalists and

Jono: That's amazing.

Alex Thomas: the, and some like, and this is some, it actually has come from a place of like jest, but he's since he's come up with it, he's seen people legitimately calling it. We've actually been, we've received inquiries, two inquiries this year from people, it's nutritionalist in their bio, seriously. But what we mean by that

Jono: Okay.

Alex Thomas: is,

Jono: Jeez.

Alex Thomas: it's like they're not a nutritionist, they understand they're probably not a nutritionist if we were to hold them to any form of like formal minimum standards that may or may not exist. And there's some form of like nutrition service provision in the form of like guidance and counseling. And so, what the difference is between a nutritionalist and a nutritionist.

Jono: Yeah, what do you want? Should we start there? What's the difference

Alex Thomas: And

Jono: between

Alex Thomas: yeah,

Jono: a nutritionalist and a nutritionist?

Alex Thomas: we'll start there. But before we get into that, we also need to say, we've done our research, but the judgments, information and things that we're going to be sharing on the basis of what we found on specific professional organizational websites, government body websites, government websites. social media pages associated with these types of organizations. So it's not an exhaustive thing. It doesn't mean that there is an information saying, um, things to the contrary of this. But if anything, it serves to highlight how confusing this is. So, um,

Jono: It's not open

Alex Thomas: which is

Jono: access

Alex Thomas: like

Jono: by the

Alex Thomas: where

Jono: sounds

Alex Thomas: we started.

Jono: of it. Yeah.

Alex Thomas: Yeah. So we're trying to make sense of something that's really confusing. We think we've done a pretty good job. Um, John is going to be live reacting to some of this information as well. So I was messaging him in the background saying, Oh, I've got some good stuff, but he doesn't know what it is.

Jono: Thank

Alex Thomas: Um,

Jono: you. I like that gives

Alex Thomas: so.

Jono: me that gives me a plausible deniability. I appreciate that.

Alex Thomas: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, um, some like research has occurred, has occurred some research. Um, it's not like, John actually did a post on this the other day. And it's like, I've done my research. Very, it's like that kind of research. But by, it's not intentionally poor quality research by virtue of the fact that like, I'm looking to confirm my bias. It's purely because getting your hands on clear information in this space is really difficult. Part of it's because as someone who runs a professional body, you're encouraged to have as much linguistically open terminology as possible to protect yourself. Johnny spoke about plausible deniability before. So like the legal teams that you work with, they're going to encourage that side of things. Within SNA and the association, an important value for me is just making things simple and clear though. And so if it's simple and it's clear, it's very hard to be misunderstood or misinterpreted. And then we can look to improve things and be more effective at establishing that standard that we wanna see within the industry or establishing a good level of a minimum standard. So clarity and simplicity is really important for myself and the organization. It's not to say that that's the same for the others. And if it's not, then they may just be taking the advice of the legal teams. Or it could also be the fact that they also don't want to be that clear because there's a market

Jono: Safe.

Alex Thomas: of revenue that they've generated

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: on the basis of ambiguity.

Jono: BOOP

Alex Thomas: And which is it? I'm not gonna say, I don't know, but there's definitely both. I feel confident in saying that. As of-

Jono: I think if you, as someone who is extremely active and well-read in this area in terms of, you know, scope of practice and your curriculum and all of these things, if you, yes, like you said, you've done your own research, but you

Alex Thomas: Thank

Jono: have

Alex Thomas: you.

Jono: come from a very well-educated

Alex Thomas: Thank you.

Jono: aspect. And if you so if anything that you claim in the next little while is quote unquote, incorrect, and someone wants to reach out and tell us that it's incorrect, I think that probably speaks more to their messaging or lack thereof

Alex Thomas: Hmm.

Jono: rather than

Alex Thomas: Definitely.

Jono: your poor research, you know, um, cause if you, if that's how you've interpreted it and if that's the information that you've been able to provide, how the hell is some poor 18 year old high school graduate looking to get into nutrition or some mid 30 year old professional looking for a nutrition professional to help them, how are they expected to do better?

Alex Thomas: Dude, definitely. And like, I'll just say this as well. Like I think you and I both share this. I love being wrong and corrected. So that way I can learn more. Like I just love learning. Um, and this is an area that I, I am genuinely interested in, which is sort of weird for 99.9, 99% of people. And I get that. But the reason why I like it is if I can learn more about it and I can get clearer, then I can help communicate what,

Jono: Mm.

Alex Thomas: what that clear interpretation is. So that way more. people within the industry and more professionals or more aspiring professionals or even just the public engaging the professionals can make better informed decisions. Because the way I think about this is, and one of my colleagues was saying this to us yesterday, we had sort of like big team development day yesterday within the whole association and a guy who does our like culture and HR. doesn't really understand the nuances of the industry that much, but he explained it simply and he was like, you know, would you get someone to build your house who's only constructed a cubby house once? And like, would you get your family to live there? And it's like, no, you'd be like, no way that's not safe. And that's what we're doing with our health, right?

Jono: Totally.

Alex Thomas: And we're putting our health in people's hands who potentially have no idea, um, what's going on. And know, people might think, oh, well, like, it doesn't really happen or like, you know, like, nutrition, it's pretty small.

Jono: Oh, it

Alex Thomas: It's

Jono: does.

Alex Thomas: pretty big.

Jono: I have hundreds

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: of clients who are recovering from seeing other professionals, you know, and I don't mean seeing

Alex Thomas: Hmm.

Jono: a professional that they didn't gel with or they didn't connect with or just maybe didn't get them the results they wanted, but a professional that has actually damaged their health or their relationship with food. Like it's a very real risk.

Alex Thomas: And I would say 99 times out of 100, that same professional who's like, cause that outcome, their intention is not to be

Jono: No.

Alex Thomas: negative. And so like they're well intended, they have positive intentions. They're just not necessarily like uninformed, misinformed, however you want to put it. And

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: you know, misinformation and disinformation can be quite dangerous. And so two specific things come to mind that Lane posted about I think it was today or yesterday, there was the raw vegan girl that died

Jono: Oh yeah,

Alex Thomas: from malnourishment.

Jono: yeah.

Alex Thomas: And so like you would think, I mean, a personal bias that I've always had towards like raw vegans, I'm like, well, they're encouraging people to eat more fruit veg. That's great. Wouldn't be that bad.

Jono: Yep.

Alex Thomas: And then when I saw that today, I was like, wow, I probably need to rethink this and potentially go a little bit harder.

Jono: There's so much- who

Alex Thomas: And

Jono: are they hurting? Are they really hurting anyone? Like come on. Well-

Alex Thomas: Yeah, people need more fruit and veg like they don't need more fruit and veg right. We can rationalize it however we want. So there was that one and then a lot of like the carnival stuff that's been popping up and people who are on statins then moving to the carnival diet

Jono: Yep.

Alex Thomas: and like this is where I'm starting to have a bit more of a firmer less sort of understanding based on positively intended or well intended uninformed people positions. Purely because yeah, the results can be

Jono: They're

Alex Thomas: Um,

Jono: going to kill

Alex Thomas: like,

Jono: people

Alex Thomas: horrible.

Jono: like early.

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: Yeah. Like they're going to take 10, 20, 30 years of people's lives. Even with like,

Alex Thomas: Hmm.

Jono: I don't really give. I've never professionally sworn. That's, that's a fun fact about me. Never in run recorded. And I almost did cause that's how angry this topic makes me. Um, but yeah, they're going

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: to take years and years and years of people's lives. They're going to take family members away from families and they're not going to be held accountable at all. So I don't really

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: care how well intentioned they are, you know,

Alex Thomas: It's not. Yeah, it's not. So to get back to the topic at hand, difference between a nutritionist and dietitian, and we're going to address the sub one, nutritionalist and nutritionist. The short answer is there's no difference. You may as well just fit and I would say for 99% of the countries out there. nutritionist is not a protected term. It means nothing. So If you're a nutritionalist or a nutritionist, it doesn't matter. And so what does this mean? It means that you could watch a YouTube video and start charging for it. Like I don't, there's no length of time that you watch a YouTube video on a.

Jono: Don't even need to

Alex Thomas: Subject.

Jono: watch the YouTube video, really, do you?

Alex Thomas: You don't like, yeah, that's a terrible, you don't need to do anything. I could be, I could meet someone and say, be a nutritionist, start charging. There's no legal recourse. And what I mean by that is, and this is the interesting stuff, um, is that there's in the majority of countries, there's no law prohibiting them from doing that.

Jono: Hmm.

Alex Thomas: And so when we're saying laws, we're talking about criminal charges being applied to someone. Like there's a specific law against this. You've chosen to violate a law, right? Like you're now a criminal and you face criminal damages and prosecution by the state or whatever the local government is, relevant government is in that area. That is not to say that if something goes wrong, you will not get in trouble. That's just to say the moment you start engaging from that point in a country where there's no actual law stating it, there's nothing stopping you and you're not engaging as a criminal at that point. So it's the same way as like, um, burglary, right? Like you decide to break that law. You're, you can now get done for burglary in the majority of countries. There's no laws for this. There are laws for the practice of unlicensed practice of medicine with doctors, but we don't have anything in the nutrition space.

Jono: Wow.

Alex Thomas: And as a result, now in some countries, I should say there are laws, right? So certain states in America have state laws. Italy as a country has laws where it's only a dietician. Taiwan is another one. They have laws where only a dietician may work in a professional setting as it relates to the prescription or professional intervention of nutrition, personalized nutrition. services with people. So that's really cool. But even in Australia, for instance, there's no laws saying you have to be a dietitian or you have to be this minimum standard of profession. In other countries, there are certain protections and registrations and And there are minimum standards that exist there, but it's few and far between. We're talking about a similar amount of countries that have the law for dietitian, have legitimately government recognized and chartered nutritionists and endorsed nutritionists. So when we look at the industry as a whole, it is primarily a self-regulated, self-appointed industry that I think in both, that is safe assumption to say in both our opinions, you know, where we're doing a poor job of,

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: and we're quite behind in, as far as that goes.

Jono: And I think that,

Alex Thomas: So,

Jono: oh sorry, you got it, you got it.

Alex Thomas: I just finished this with saying, so like, that's the bottom end, and then the top end is you have these people with decades of experience, multiple postgraduate degrees in these nutrition programs. So they may have done undergrad in health science nutrition, or human nutrition, or health science clinical nutrition, and then they go on to do. masters in human nutrition, masters in sports nutrition, they might have two masters or two or three or two masters in a post-grad in some form of an applied nutrition, specialized nutrition field without it being dietetics as well. So some of these people by today's standards might have $150,000 worth of student debt associated with their nutrition studies, but not be a dietician. And so that's the spectrum of the nutritionists,

Jono: find

Alex Thomas: nutritionalists.

Jono: that's, yeah, that's what I find so wild. And I feel really sorry for like, I know a lot of phenomenal nutritionists who are very legitimate and have those qualifications, maybe not 150k, but you know, like, have at least an undergrad and a post grad or even just like, you know, an undergrad from a legitimate university. And they are technically being lumped in with that person who just decided to go, well, I like food, I've lost weight. Or I don't know, I've cured my Crohn's disease. I'm going to be a nutritionist, you know, and like it, I

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: feel, I feel really, I feel for those people, because yeah, they've done that, the due diligence, they've done the proper ridiculous amount of study that we have to do, as they should, you know, like you said, we're playing with people's healthier, it's serious. But to just be painted with the same brushes. pretty awful. I think, correct me if I'm wrong, there's a is a and there's a there is a registration process for nutritionists in Australia, isn't that but it's a

Alex Thomas: NSA, ANTA and NSA,

Jono: and it's

Alex Thomas: yeah.

Jono: but it's opt in isn't it? Like they

Alex Thomas: Opt in,

Jono: Yep.

Alex Thomas: it's not mandatory. In both of those, it's degree minimums.

Jono: Yep.

Alex Thomas: However, and this is where what people don't necessarily understand, and I think this is where I'll get a library out from you. So I'm just gonna quote some stuff. And this is where it gets confusing, right? So we might have someone that's a registered member of the ANTA or the NSA, and they're practicing and working with people in a health setting, where like trying to improve their health, they may be some condition that they're working on. And so they're like, yeah, I've studied these things at uni, I'm good to go. quoted here, a nutritionist is not qualified to provide medical advice or medical nutrition therapy. This is the role of a dietitian. And so that's where even with some of these uber qualified nutritionists, and that's quoted directly from the NSA website, I'll send links, John, and we can provide links and stuff

Jono: Yeah,

Alex Thomas: so that

Jono: yeah,

Alex Thomas: way

Jono: I'll

Alex Thomas: people

Jono: put them

Alex Thomas: can

Jono: on

Alex Thomas: see

Jono: the show,

Alex Thomas: it.

Jono: guys.

Alex Thomas: And that's where we get some of the like crossover as well. So even when we get these really good degree qualified people, they're not aware of what their scope is. So if you're registered with the NSA, your scope to my understanding, and this is after having dialogue with a few of the members and board members of the NSA members at a foundational level, these people are practicing like they think that they're registered to be practicing and they're going to get an insurance product that's going to cover them. That's not the case. So. The NSA is there for, it's not for service provision and private practice. It's there to be registered to be a part of evidence informed communication to the public.

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: So it's more about the research and public health communication of that sort of thing. It's not even there for the practitioners. So if you were wanting to go into private practice, then you would be with ANTA. The ANTA scope of practice, and there's another one I think it's called, I'm just going to bring up. it's got really long winded. It's like double A and T PRA or something like that. Well, a double end. I probably won't find in time, but I'll add the link in as well. You can register them. So it's not just answer. There's two other bodies. The the one that I'm referring to now is a bit younger. It's more in its infancy. It looks like it's got a more established scope and doesn't have it. So enter is the Australian natural And so the scope of practice to enter is quite not quite, it's very ambiguous. And so if you were a naturopath, if you were a nutritionist, if you were a, um, homeopath, um, I don't know if homeopath is like still within that, but that's who you would register with. And if you had some form of nutrition service provision within your, um, practice, then you all get the same natural therapies policy. And so the scope isn't clear. I couldn't find the scope of practice for a registered nutritionist with ANTA. And so within the association, because we deal with sports, we get a lot of inquiries from people who are like, oh, I'm already registered in practicing. And we're like, look, just send through your scope, like your insurance docs and all this kind of stuff, we'll make sure you're all good. We're happy to do it. We do it as an obligation free. just consult because we just want people out there being informed.

Jono: Hmm.

Alex Thomas: Um, so that way they're protected, their clients are protected. So like, we don't care, um, to spend a couple of minutes on it, to make sure that people are looked after. But, um, yeah, I would say like we went back and we looked at the data for the last 18 months. And I kid you not, we have had over 35 inquiries with this and not a single one had a policy, a clear scope and a clear policy that covered them for those practices.

Jono: That's cooked.

Alex Thomas: So it was zero. It's not to say that it's gonna be a 0% out there. It might be say five or 10%. Our sample size wasn't that big, but that's what it was.

Jono: Yeah, it's always it's been my under I'll fully admit that I am not across the nutrition of scope of practice because I am not one and I don't employ them

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: and I don't intend on employing them purely I think because I have always had that sense of like man scope their scope is messy. I don't want to deal with that. I know at least as a dietician.

Alex Thomas: I would be exactly the

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: same as a business owner. I would be recommending any business owner to employ a dietician

Jono: Our scope

Alex Thomas: and

Jono: is

Alex Thomas: it

Jono: just

Alex Thomas: just,

Jono: like, it's straightforward. Like I know what I can do. Well,

Alex Thomas: yeah.

Jono: mostly because it is kind of like, if it's related to food, knock yourself out. Whereas

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: with, I've always thought of, I've had that understanding that as a nutritionist, I didn't realize that even just general practice was a bit murky, but I thought it is healthy populations. You should not be doing,

Alex Thomas: Mm.

Jono: like I think you mentioned medical nutrition therapy, like MNT, which is,

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: you know,

Alex Thomas: it's healthy populations

Jono: yeah,

Alex Thomas: only.

Jono: yeah. Which

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: is, I think it would be very rare to find someone who is... adhering to that, basically, you know.

Alex Thomas: Yeah. Yeah, like, yeah, it's really interesting. So what's the difference between nutritionists and a sports nutritionist? Nothing. Title, but sports nutritionist isn't protected. We've gone out of our way at the association to protect accredited sports nutritionists. What's the difference between nutritionist sports nutritionist and accredited sports nutritionist? The fact like then we can say definitively they have minimum standards in qualification. So our provisionally licensed like our P platers have spent six months of study and then have had supervised practical hours with our degree qualified, openly accredited assessment team while they're a student in the trenches, like working with clients before they can complete it. They are competent in effectively, the way that I like to explain this is like, and I think this should apply to any nutrition professional anyway, but. we were just going to look at the sports nutrition modalities like the fit within these things. But it's like, what is a good practitioner need these days, I would say the foundation is critical thinking and deductive reasoning. And then that's your foundation. And then you imagine like that's your circular foundation, you got to board above it, and you're balancing things. And you've got foundational sciences, applied sciences, research, business, and then behavioral sciences. And so we give them all of that with within a sports nutrition context

Jono: Hmm.

Alex Thomas: effectively. So then there's exercise physiology, nutrition physiology, biochemistry, exercise biochemistry, and then all the applied healthy population, general population stuff, as well as healthy population athlete stuff, and then the business and behavior stuff on top of it. And so that's our P-platers, and then our openly accredited members have completed that, or at least those subjects, and we have 13 subjects, and a relevant... either nutrition or exercise science degree.

Jono: Yeah, well, I think there's the ongoing registration as well. Hey, people don't just get

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: that piece of paper and run off and similar to, you

Alex Thomas: Oh,

Jono: know,

Alex Thomas: yeah,

Jono: as a dietitian,

Alex Thomas: man,

Jono: like

Alex Thomas: Jesus.

Jono: each year, you know, we've got a

Alex Thomas: Yeah, that's the

Jono: log

Alex Thomas: other

Jono: PD

Alex Thomas: thing. They're registered.

Jono: and

Alex Thomas: Like, yeah, yeah. They're registered with us there. And they take out an insurance policy doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be with the provider that we recommend. We assess all of these other policies. It's just based on what we need to have a policy that covers those specific activities is about five out there now. that we're aware of and all of those insurers come back to us and say, have you audited this person in the last 12 months? We have 100 audit rate and then two, have they completed their continuing education? And we give that for free to our members. So there's no like go and get your points and do this random course to tick a box. We go, this is the, we speak to the board, we go, this is what's contemporarily relevant at this point in time. This is what we need to update our curriculum on. This is what we need to update the members on and then we give it to them from there.

Jono: Yep. Yeah.

Alex Thomas: So that's the difference there. It's yes, then it's with the registration comes the code of conduct, practicing standards, and then making sure that they're practicing within scope of practice in the audit. So if anyone from the public was wanting to engage one of these people working, wondering what the difference was, it's like these people you know have a minimum of standard.

Jono: Hmm.

Alex Thomas: Everyone else in the sports nutritionist or nutritionist or nutritionalist or I'm a nutrition coach, space doesn't.

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: And so you could have someone with a degree that really knows what they're doing. You could have someone with a degree who completely oversteps the mark and you can have someone that's not even watching YouTube.

Jono: Yeah, well, it's hard with just qualifications, right? Because like we see doctors giving some of the worst nutrition advice I've ever seen, even though, you know, it's not easy to be a doctor, right? They go through rigorous study and multiple years and multiple degrees. And they still give some of the worst nutrition advice I've ever heard. So like, I think that's why it is important to have that governing body. just moan about mine.

Alex Thomas: It peeved.

Jono: But yeah, I get it. I like Yeah, anyway, that's a that's another podcast. But like, it is important that there is that ongoing auditing and that scope of practice because just saying like, Oh, someone's done a degree in this space. Really, I've like, I care less and less about that now. You know, it's more than what are they doing ongoing? How are they practicing all those things?

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: So

Alex Thomas: exactly. I think it's good to have a minimum standard of education, but then there needs to be equal emphasis paid to like practical experience and then also how they practice. So like not just the experience they have, but like what they've been doing with that time. And

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: that's sort of my Venn diagram of the three.

Jono: Yeah, that'd be great. We should get that. We'll get someone to whip that up, the Venn diagram. And in the middle is the...

Alex Thomas: One of

Jono: Oh,

Alex Thomas: the people in post.

Jono: yeah.

Alex Thomas: So then, to answer the question, I guess circle back to it, like what's the difference between dietitian and nutritionist? Plenty.

Jono: Yeah, well, like I said, I think the easiest line that I've used is nutritionists cannot work with unhealthy populations, right?

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: You

Alex Thomas: and

Jono: know,

Alex Thomas: can't treat things.

Jono: country medical conditions country symptoms country any of that. You know, so

Alex Thomas: In

Jono: all

Alex Thomas: other

Jono: of

Alex Thomas: countries, this may vary.

Jono: also

Alex Thomas: So

Jono: Yeah,

Alex Thomas: there

Jono: in

Alex Thomas: is a

Jono: Australia.

Alex Thomas: disclaimer. Yeah.

Jono: Yeah, yeah.

Alex Thomas: But in some countries, but it's, it's like, if you were in one of those countries that you can,

Jono: Hmm.

Alex Thomas: that's you're in minority, a large, large minority

Jono: Yeah,

Alex Thomas: of countries

Jono: but

Alex Thomas: where

Jono: that's

Alex Thomas: that's

Jono: certainly

Alex Thomas: the case. Yeah.

Jono: not also what I what we see, right? Like that's and I look, I think the other thing as well is the gray area around body composition of like fat loss,

Alex Thomas: Mm.

Jono: fat loss in particular. People can argue that it is not a medical condition. Someone's not ill, right? So could a nutritionist should that be within their scope of practice? But like, I think

Alex Thomas: Mm.

Jono: we need to be really careful because as we know, like fat loss is not risk free, you know, and some of the most

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: damaging things I've seen has come from someone who is otherwise healthy, who is engaged in health professional to help them lose body fat and has just completely cooked their relationship with food has nutrient deficiencies, energy deficiencies, like

Alex Thomas: Thank

Jono: all

Alex Thomas: you.

Jono: of these things that have occurred in an otherwise healthy person. So, um,

Alex Thomas: Mm.

Jono: and again, this is not saying that would be the case for anyone engaging in nutritionist by any means, but It's happened, you

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: know?

Alex Thomas: I mean, I would be given how given the subjects that someone could can study to get a nutrition degree, and what their path looks like, I would be I would reluctantly engage any form of nutritionists with and like and having looked at what the majority of the curriculum is being taught in those programs for the pursuit of weight loss. purely because like over an accredited sports nutritionist because I know for a fact that these guys, the creditors for sports nutritionists are going to be trained on energy availability, adaptive thermogenesis, the nutritional and physiological biochemistry of what occurs during weight loss, and then also the behavioral considerations associated with like, energy restriction, intentional weight loss, all this kind of stuff, the same way that for the majority of dietetic programs, they will get trained on that as well. I've seen some programs that still don't talk about EA, they talk about female athlete triangle only. So it's not to say that like all diathetic programs are amazing.

Jono: Oh, no, absolutely

Alex Thomas: Depending

Jono: not.

Alex Thomas: on what, like you've got a very narrow, depending on your undergrad, and depending on the post grad program you go into, or if you just do bachelor's with honors, you have a very like narrow amount of subjects and flexibility that you can choose. So sometimes it's just the nature of the program or the university that you go to. you're not going to be exposed to this.

Jono: Well, and I just want to clarify, obviously, as a dietician, I'm also coming across this conscious of coming across as we are above reproach. We are there's like there was I saw an ad for a new like for a dietician, there was a clinic that was looking for a dietician, and it was a group of dieticians looking for a new dietician who had to embody the low carb way they could only, you know, that was what the clinic did, and they had to embrace that and they were only allowed to practice in that sense, which is dumb. right. And that's me.

Alex Thomas: Good.

Jono: That's not Alex from SNH saying that. So if anyone's going to come up to anyone, but like that's, that was a team of dieticians saying that this is the way is low carb, you know, keto, little bit of carnivore thrown in, I went and stalked their website, of course. And so like, that's a group of dieticians. So like, unfortunately, there's, like, there's charlatans in every profession, I do think that by looking at someone's credentials, where they've studied what they're still like who they're registered with, like you've talked about, like, you know,

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: if it's

Alex Thomas: and the registration requirements

Jono: exactly,

Alex Thomas: get across

Jono: you know,

Alex Thomas: those.

Jono: so if I would, if you're looking for someone, I would always look for their credentials. Firstly, if they're not displaying that run away, no one with any legitimate credentials forgets to put that on their website, right, or forgets to put that

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: in their Instagram bio, because like, I didn't pay 80k or whatever I paid to not tell people I'm a dietician, right? So like, like the

Alex Thomas: I'd be if I had it I'd be telling I'd be shouting it from the rooftop.

Jono: I said when

Alex Thomas: So yeah

Jono: I go to parties, hello, I'm John, I'm a dietician. No, but like, anyone who

Alex Thomas: I'm

Jono: has

Alex Thomas: estimating

Jono: actually,

Alex Thomas: your booting.

Jono: I try and hide that factor parties, but at like anyone with a legitimate credential is going to be talking about it. Or any credential really, so at least look for one if they've got one, I would then go and investigate that body, right? You know, look at the university is a little legitimate university, look at the association, or the other credentialing, you know, I'm business for lack of a better term. Where are they?

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: What

Alex Thomas: definitely.

Jono: are the what do they have standards? Do they have a scope of practice document? All of those sorts of things like yeah,

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: it is a little bit

Alex Thomas: in

Jono: of

Alex Thomas: the

Jono: work.

Alex Thomas: scope of practice, as a advice, that's a big

Jono: Yeah,

Alex Thomas: one to look for,

Jono: yeah,

Alex Thomas: right?

Jono: right.

Alex Thomas: provision of advice or recommendation of like positive health outcomes, things like that, where it's not if you're engaged in a personalized service. And it says advice. That's a very different thing. General advice is the same thing as providing healthy like endorsing your healthy eating guidelines to people right? So

Jono: Yeah, right.

Alex Thomas: every country has healthy guidelines. That's advice. Eat more veg do this. That's advice. It's general. It must say in the scope, personalised nutrition, either services or intervention, that type of thing. If it says advice, and that person's giving you a personalised service, they're not covered

Jono: Yeah. And it's worked to find this stuff out, right? Like you've got to go onto someone's

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: website, you've got to go into a governing bodies website, pretty good download a few PDFs and read that. But like, again, like you talked about, this is this coming from someone trying to engage a professional, it's your health, it is your longevity, it is your life and health span. Like, I don't think spending an extra 15 minutes to get to the bottom of this is a misuse of your time at all. I think

Alex Thomas: No,

Jono: it

Alex Thomas: I

Jono: should

Alex Thomas: don't

Jono: be

Alex Thomas: know.

Jono: the bare minimum.

Alex Thomas: And if it's too much, then your goals don't matter that much

Jono: Yeah,

Alex Thomas: to you.

Jono: yeah, yeah.

Alex Thomas: Like

Jono: Well, your

Alex Thomas: if it's

Jono: health.

Alex Thomas: 10 minutes.

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: Yeah. So please spend the time. I think we've got it.

Jono: I think so. I think look, you are we haven't touched on dietitian versus sports dietitian, which we

Alex Thomas: Okay.

Jono: said we were going to. And I should know better.

Alex Thomas: We might have to pop either.

Jono: Yeah, maybe we should. Maybe we should because then Jono will go and do some actual research

Alex Thomas: Ha ha!

Jono: and get make sure I don't annoy anybody or say anything

Alex Thomas: Yeah,

Jono: incorrectly.

Alex Thomas: that'd be good. That'd be that'd be come back for the part B and then we'll wrap it up.

Jono: Yeah, cool. So all

Alex Thomas: All

Jono: right,

Alex Thomas: right,

Jono: hang

Alex Thomas: stay tuned.

Jono: on, we don't have our I don't feel like we got our snappy. So you ready for this? This will be the

Alex Thomas: Okay, yeah.

Jono: so Alex, what is the difference

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: between nutrition or your? No, let's what we could each do one. What is the difference between a nutritionist

Alex Thomas: Okay.

Jono: and a dietitian? And what should people look out for?

Alex Thomas: A nutritionist cannot practice in medical nutrition therapy, so they can't work with someone to treat a condition or improve a condition directly. So they need to look out for the registration of the accredited practicing dietitian, if they have any health concerns, they want to work with or work through. And if you're a nutritionist, and you want to work with people, keep in mind that they just need to be healthy people only. Do you want to crack at that?

Jono: Oh, mate, I don't think I could do better. I think that was great. Yeah, I think it's I think that's what it comes down to. Right. It's like if you have a health condition and you are seeking treatment, medical nutrition, therapy or treatment for that health condition, it needs to be an APD and accredited practicing dietitian in Australia. That's,

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: that's kind of there's no there's no real wiggle

Alex Thomas: In

Jono: room

Alex Thomas: most

Jono: there

Alex Thomas: countries,

Jono: is there? Yeah,

Alex Thomas: in most

Jono: a

Alex Thomas: countries.

Jono: registered dietitian.

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: What are they in the UK? RD as well? Or?

Alex Thomas: RDS.

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: Yeah, it's pretty common there.

Jono: I

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: wish we

Alex Thomas: In

Jono: were

Alex Thomas: most

Jono: RD.

Alex Thomas: countries it needs to be a partition in medical therapy.

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: Done.

Alex Thomas:And then the second the second out on bit, this can be highlight 2.0. You know, the little toy that you eat with Happy Meal. But if you are a nutritionist, and you're working in private practice with clients, then a lot of the time with your registration, scope and coverage, even if you're a degree qualified with a professional association, it's not necessarily gonna cover you for private practice. In the UK, you've got the AFN, they're great, that's for private practice, but a lot of other countries

Jono: That's what I was

Alex Thomas: don't

Jono: thinking

Alex Thomas: have

Jono: of.

Alex Thomas: the AFN.

Jono: Yeah, okay.

Alex Thomas: Yeah. So a lot of other countries and regions don't have the AFN. And so having personalized, well, having registration for personalized nutrition practice is just not as common as what is in the UK with the AFN. And so the registration is typically for being a part of ongoing updates to research and being plugged into the research and then the communication of that research for public health improvements, which is not private practice. So

Jono: Mm.

Alex Thomas: that's the other thing to consider when it comes to practicing as a nutritionist.

Jono: Yeah, when I think if someone

Alex Thomas: Well, yeah,

Jono: is

Alex Thomas: that's

Jono: feeling

Alex Thomas: all.

Jono: like they need

Alex Thomas: It's

Jono: to

Alex Thomas: good.

Jono: come at us after listening to this, may I suggest first

Alex Thomas: Bye.

Jono: going at your governing body first or your credit your credentialing, the place you got your credentials from, hold them accountable and get answers

Alex Thomas: Thank

Jono: out of them and

Alex Thomas: you.

Jono: don't let them get away with the Oh, you know, well, maybe you could sort of I guess you could maybe you know, go, well, hang on, what am I actually accredited to do? What have you enabled me to do? Rather than saying.

Alex Thomas: What are you endorsing me to the public for?

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: What am I protected for?

Jono: Because

Alex Thomas: What are their expectations?

Jono: neither of us

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: can help you with that.

Alex Thomas: No, no. And then like if anything changes or an association is like, you know, what we've been meaning to do this, we've got this in on the background. We've been working on it for the last 18 months. Can you give us a plug when that goes live? Hey, we'd love to as well.

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: Always like to update based on more relevant and contemporary research

Jono: Yeah.

Alex Thomas: or not research, but that's what we do with research, but

Jono: Up to date

Alex Thomas: like

Jono: with

Alex Thomas: evidence.

Jono: the industry. Yeah.

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: Awesome. There you go. Difference

Alex Thomas: Thank

Jono: between

Alex Thomas: you.

Jono: a nutritionalist and nutritionist and a dietitian. Sorted. Yeah,

Alex Thomas: If you have any questions, hit us up

Jono: yeah. I'll

Alex Thomas: as well.

Jono: put the show

Alex Thomas: John

Jono: notes.

Alex Thomas: will direct everyone to me if it's nutritionalist related.

Jono: You will get the shirt, we'll get the shirt. Yeah, I'll put this stuff in the show

Alex Thomas: Yeah.

Jono: notes. I'll put all of the things we've referenced in terms of certain governing bodies and their scope of practices. We'll put, well, you probably know where to find me if you're listening to this from my website, but we'll probably find Alex as well and Sports Nutrition SNA. And then we will catch up to talk dietician and sports dietician later. Thanks for coming, man.

Alex Thomas: Sound good? Awesome, looking forward to it.