Beware of the generic “nutritionist”, they may know less than you do about nutrition! There is so much interest in nutrition and its influence on health that many people out there read a few articles and then declare themselves “nutrition experts” or “nutritionists.” Let me speak from my professional experience. I received my Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1986 after studying nutrition as an undergraduate at Wheaton College in Norton Massachusetts. I became so interested in nutrition in college that I asked my biochemistry professor to start a basic nutrition course and to guide me through various independent studies in nutrition. I realized how complex and intricate a science nutrition really is!
Following my Master’s, I became a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and became licensed in the state of Florida so that I could practice nutrition as a professional. Being an R.D. means collecting at least 75 continuing credits every 5 years to maintain your credential. I then became certified in Nutrition Support (CNSC) in 1990 and have re-certified every 5 years since. In 1995 I began teaching nutrition at the college level and in 2002 became a provider of professional continuing education credits. In 2002 I also became a Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN- my most challenging credential to date!) and re-certify every five years for that as well. After years of intense education and teaching in nutrition, I still sometimes feel like I am just beginning to scratch the surface of nutrition as a science! Nutrition as a science encompasses biochemistry, physiology, endocrinology and even psychology and is as complex a science as any. There is no one who can master it from just a few internet courses!
My point is not to bore you with letters and credentials but to let you know how to find a credentialed nutrition professional. I have seen people claim to be “certified” but only have taken an internet course that they can take over and over again until they pass. Some of these coursed don’t even require a high school diploma! This is a far cry from a credential that requires a college degree, internship and continuing education!
I developed NutritionMission.org and my trademarked series “Nutrition Is Your Best Health Insurance!” in order to give people good, solid commonsense nutrition guidance. Come and see me there… don’t send your dog to the dentist for a grooming, and don’t put your health in the hands of an amateur!.