Registered dietitians are considered the most trusted source of nutrition information by the Institute of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. A registered dietitian is an expert in food and nutrition who must complete a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from an accredited university, complete a 900-hour supervised internship, and sit for a national accrediting exam. Dietitians are credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and must follow strict professional guidelines, including annual continuing education requirements. In the state of Texas, licensing of dietitians is optional. Those who choose to be licensed are regulated by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians through the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. Working with a licensed registered dietitian allows the public to be assured that the advice they are receiving is sound information based on the latest scientific evidence.
Registered dietitians must follow strict scholastic requirements as outlined above and are bound to a code of ethics. Dietitians practice evidenced-based medical nutrition therapy. There are currently no laws or requirements for someone to call themselves a nutritionist. Nutritionists can be anyone who takes a weekend course online in nutrition to a sales person at a supplement store. Nutritionists are not licensed in the state of Texas and anyone harmed by a nutritionist has no legal recourse.
A Board Certified Sports Dietitian (CSSD) holds the premier sports nutrition professional credential in the United States. A CSSD must prove at least 1,500 counseling contact hours with athletes and active individuals before sitting for a national credentialing exam. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentials dietitians and retests CSSDs every five years. CSSDs are required to keep current on the latest sports nutrition research. CSSDs are employed in a wide variety of settings such as athletic departments, recreational sports facilities, working with professional sports teams, training Olympic athletes, and counseling the United States military in all branches.
Advice from a Registered Dietitian is NOT a substitute for diagnosis by a medical doctor (MD). For certain conditions, Karin may refer clients to an MD for further evaluation. All adults should follow up with their primary physician at least annually for evaluation.