Holistic Nutrition and the Nutrition Profession

NUT 101

There are many levels of nutrition consultation and practice:

  • Nutrition Consultant/Wellness Consultant
  • Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition
  • Nutrition Support Professional
  • Registered Dietician
  • Licensed Dietician
  • Certified Clinical Nutritionist

Room for All?

  • Each has their own requirements and scope of practice
  • Each serves a unique function
  • States may differ in their licensing requirements and use of titles
  • Some turf wars exist between groups
  • Holistic and integrative medicine tries to foster cooperation between groups

Holistic Nutrition Consultants

  • Promote healthy diet and lifestyle habits
  • Promote whole, naturally grown food as the best source for optimal nutrition
  • Provide education about healthy, natural lifestyles to individuals and communities
  • Work with individuals to address nutritional imbalances and systemic weaknesses
  • Use foods, menu planning, dietary supplements, herbs and/or lifestyle modifications to support the achievement of health goals

A Holistic Nutrition Consultant Does NOT:

  • Diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition
  • Does not use the title “Nutritionist” or “Nutrition Counselor” in a state where these are legislated
  • To learn more about health freedom legislation in your state contact the Coalition for Natural Health at www.naturalhealth.org

Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition

To become board certified in holistic nutrition you must:

  • Graduate from a program approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals
  • ACHS’s Diploma in Holistic Health Practice is an approved program
  • Provide documentation of 500 hours of direct and indirect contact hours of professional experience in holistic nutrition
  • Pass the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Exam Be a professional member of the NANP

Nutrition Support Professionals:

  •  Are dietitians, pharmacists, nurses, and physicians
  • Provide and manage enteral and parenteral nutrition
  • Work either independently or as part of a nutrition support team
  • Work in hospitals, home-care agencies, long-term care facilities, research facilities, and academia

Certified Nutrition Specialists:

  • Are credentialed professionals with an accredited masters or doctoral degree
  • Have clinical experience
  • Pass a credentialing examination

A Dietician:

  • Plans food and nutrition programs, supervises meal preparation, and oversees the serving of meals
  • Prevents and treats illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications
  • Manages food service systems for institutions, such as hospitals and schools
  • Promotes sound eating habits through education, and conduct research May have a specialization, such as: Clinical Dietitian, Community Dietitian, Management Dietitian, or Consultant

Training required to become a Dietician:

  • Requires at least a bachelors degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management
  • 46 states and jurisdictions with laws governing dietetics, 33 require licensure, 12 require statutory certification, and 1 requires registration; specific requirements vary by state

Registered Dietician RD

  • American Dietetic Association awards the Registered Dietitian credential to those who pass an exam after completing academic coursework and a supervised internship
  • Completion of a program accredited by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • The completion of 900 hours of supervised practical experience in any of the 243 accredited internships

A Certified Clinical Nutritionist

  • Holds a Bachelors of Science from a regionally accredited university
  • Has completed 56 hours of additional post-graduate study in clinical nutrition practice
  • Has obtained Credential Review Approval by the
  • Clinical Nutrition Certification Board
  • Has achieved a passing score on the written CCN Examination
  • Has certification considered questionable by the ADA

What a CCN Does

  • The Certified Clinical Nutritionist assesses a person's nutritional needs to achieve normal physiological function
  • Assessment includes: case history, anthropomorphic measurements, physical signs, laboratory tests, and nutrition/lifestyle analysis
  • Provides the basis for referral to a licensed physician, or other healthcare professional
  • Develops and administers an educational nutrition program

Bias Against Holistic Nutrition

The American Dietetic Association vigorously defends their right to nutrition consultation and practice, and will challenge and question anyone who uses the following titles:

  • Certified Clinical Nutritionist
  • Certified Nutrition Consultant
  • Certified Nutritionist

Wellness Consulting

  • In states where the term nutritionist is legislated or licensed, the term Wellness Coach is preferred
  • Know what the objections are to wellness coaching: http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/nutritionist.html
  • Understand FDA and state regulations
  • Use proper terminology and don’t try to be something you are not

5005 S. Macadam Ave, Portland, OREGON • achs.edu/consumer-disclosures • DEAC ACCREDITED