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What is a Dietitian?

Dietitians are the Gold Standard of Food and Nutrition Professionals

Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level.  Dietitians are highly trained and undertake a degree course or post-graduate course in order to qualify. In addition they have to have had practical experience working with patients before they can register as a Dietitian.

Dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, with the statutory regulator the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard.

Where do they work?

The role of a Dietitian is more varied than you might think. You will find Dietitians working in hospitals but also in other areas such as in Public Health, with food manufacturers, on advisory boards, with sportsmen and women and with supermarkets and other retailers.

Dietitians often specialise in particular areas such as:

  • Paediatrics (children)
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa)
  • Care of older adults
  • Gastroenterology (this includes Coeliac disease, Crohns disease, Ulcerative Colitis and many others)
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac (heart)

Useful Links

Thinking of a Career in Dietetics?
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has useful information if you are thinking of a career in Dietetics.

Professionally approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and the BDA, the BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics degree at Cardiff Met University contains two major elements: The academic component based on campus and clinical training, which occurs in three separate places within the course. It is the only university in Wales approved to run this course. Go to the Cardiff Metropolitan University website for more information.

Sue Harding is the student placement officer at CMET and can be contacted via e-mail at  
The Healthcare Professions Council

The Healthcare Professions Council (HCPC) regulate Dietitians and ensure that they work to a specific standard. The HCPC’s job is to make sure patients are safe and are treated by a properly trained professional. You can check a Dietitian’s registration via the HCPC website.