Here’s to all my lovely RD’s out there in the field, working hard to help make the world a better place! Whether you are trying to get your TPN feeds into pharmacy by lunchtime or helping an old lady pick the right type of Kefir in the grocery store, you are all doing a FANTASTIC job! Here are my top 5 facts about AWESOME Dietitians:
1) Dietitian + Nutritionist = NOT the same thing.
Yep, I’m not a nutritionist. I’m one of those annoying girls that will correct you if you call me one. And that’s because I LOVE being a Dietitian. I worked hard to get where I’m at, and I like to be a trusted source when it comes to evidence-based science. The term “Registered Dietitian” is a protected title, similar to “Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist” etc. This means we are part of a governing body (College of Dietitians of Ontario is my jam), we do accredited training and we write a competency-based exam. Anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist”, and that means you really need to do your research to know what a person’s education, background and experience is.
2) We don’t all have eating disorders
Fun fact: I frickin love to eat. I love sushi, I love poutine, I love cake, I love chips. But you know what else I love? Balance. I love the way healthy eating makes me feel, but I don’t deny myself treats. All foods can fit. And I bet if you ask any Dietitian “how do you stay so skinny?”, most of them will give you the same answer. Make the best choices you can, but make sure to get enjoyment from food too.
3) We do more than just “tell people how to lose weight”
When I tell people I’m a Registered Dietitian, the first thing I get asked is “so you help people lose weight?”. Well, in my particular job that is just one of many things I do. But, Dietitians work in a HUGE variety of different settings. I have a friend who is a Dietitian in rehab- her job is to calculate tube feeds for those who recently had a stroke. Another friend works at Sick Kids, calculating IV nutrition for unweight babies who need to GAIN weight. There are Dietitians who work for Public Health Units, facilitating policy development. There are Dietitians in industry, working with companies to help develop food labels. There are Dietitians in research, coordinating big clinical trials. See? We do much, much more than “weight loss” 🙂
4) (Most of us) don’t judge what you eat
Many of my RD friends can attest to this: you walk into the lunch room at work and your colleagues are covertly stashing their lunch remnants of potato chips and Cheetos, hoping the Dietitian didn’t see their bad choices. Oh puhleeeeease! Have you ever been to a potluck hosted by Dietitians? Yes you have your veggies and hummus, sitting alongside chocolate-covered bacon. I would never judge a person for what they are eating. Food is all about choice. My job is to help facilitate an informed choice, and be a trusted source of information when it comes to healthy eating.
5) We all hate Dr. Oz.