What is a Dietitian?

A dietitian has the training and skill to apply nutritional science to individuals or groups in a state of disease or health. Canterbury Dietitians aim to tailor our advice to meet the specific needs of our clients.

The difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist

A dietitian is a registered health professional who meets standards of professionalism required by the NZ Dietitians Board under the Health Practitioners Competency Act (2003). A dietitian has an accredited undergraduate science degree in human nutrition, as well as a post-graduate diploma or masters in Dietetics.

Dietitians are trained in the science of nutrition and diet therapy, qualified to work in areas that require nutritional assessment and counselling. This includes individual and group counselling. They are also trained in managing institutional food services, to ensure that the menus and food provided meets the dietary needs of the recipients, that the food is safe to eat, and is produced in a way that meets the facilities financial and quality targets.

Dietitians use effective nutritional management strategies, based upon current scientific evidence, to help individuals or groups to improve their health. Dietitians work within a specified scope of practice and adhere to a code of ethics. Dietitians must meet registration requirements, which includes participating in a continuing competency program, and individuals are routinely audited in order to maintain their annual practicing certificate, and to be able to legally call themselves a New Zealand Registered Dietitian.

A Nutritionist has may have completed a degree in human nutrition or science, or may have training in science, nutrition, biochemistry, medicine or sports physiology. Alternatively they may not be trained at all, as nutritionist is not a protected title and there is no specific qualification or registration legally required.

Leigh, Liz and Maz are all New Zealand Registered Dietitians with current Annual Practising Certificates and are participants in the Continuing Competency Program for New Zealand Registered Dietitians.

Leigh, Liz and Maz are members of the New Zealand Dietetic Association (NZDA) and the Christchurch Branch of the NZDA.