Why Become a Registered Dietitian?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics’ (2016-2017), dietetic professionals together will experience 16% growth in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024, a rate much faster than the average for all occupations.
The Centers for Disease Control states that over 2/3 of the U.S. population can be classified as overweight or obese, and a full 1/3 of U.S. adults are obese. As the baby-boom generation, a group that is living longer than previous generations and has a deeper focus on staying healthy, their demand for dietetic services is increasing. The role of food and nutrition in disease prevention and management among all groups continues to grow. Health and wellness are becoming into focus as key to longevity and quality of life.
Dietitians are expanding their reach from the hospital and clinic setting to work in private counseling, corporate wellness, culinary nutrition, nutrition and health policy, health journalism, grocery stores and in research and teaching roles to help individuals and families to understand how to select and prepare healthful food on a budget.
This article talks about the future of dietetics and has a great graphic (via Food and Nutrition/Stone Soup): https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/stone-soup/dietitian-future-look-like/
What is a Registered Dietitian?
The terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” can be confusing. “Nutritionist” is a generic term for a person who works with food and nutrition. It is not a formal title, nor are there any requirements for becoming a nutritionist. Registered Dietitians (RDs), also called Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists (RDNs), are individuals who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree, didactic courses in food and nutrition, 1200 hours of supervised practice and passed the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) registration exam. The RD credential is the most widely accepted dietetic credential and is the only credential for individuals wishing to practice in clinical settings. Most other settings, such as public health, research and corporations normally require or prefer candidates to have the RD as well.