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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: temporarly brainwashed from weight loss center!
Date: September 13, 2007 at 6:57 pm PST

In Reply to: temporarly brainwashed from weight loss center! posted by Kris on September 7, 2007 at 10:45 am:

Hi Kris,

Thanks for your questions. To become a dietitian (RD), a 4-yr BA/BS degree with core content in food/nutrition is required.
Degree programs approved by the Amer. Dietetic Assoc. (ADA) are listed at

After completion of academic work, there is a 7-9 month internship, plus a proctored exam.
Whether you need a degree in nutrition is dependent on two questions:
1) whether you already have a BA/BS, and
2) the rules of your state.
Some states, such as Maryland, do not require a degree in nutrition, they only require a degree and the core content in nutrition. In other words, if you already have a degree, you'd only be required to take the core nutrition content + any prerequisites.

This is the path I took. I already had a degree, so I just had to take the nutrition content (+ prerequisites) I never previously had.

A "nutritionist" (CNS) is a different certification, issued by the Certification Board of Nutrition Specialists, a competitor of sorts of the ADA; check Job duties between a CNS and RD are almost identical.

The next step below dietitian is a DTR, which stands for Dietetic Tech, Registered) is a certification issued by ADA after a 2-yr AA degree, plus a 3-4 month internship, plus an exam. ADA-approved DTR programs are listed at

Techs are usually supervised by Dietitians and are not considered able to perform all the tasks of a dietitian. However, they are able to perform basic nutrition education and supervised counseling.

I also do phone counseling, if you're interested in increasing your healthy carb intake to support your workouts. Let me know if you're interested.

As for the person at the weight loss center, perhaps she's trying to correct their ignorance about proper intake.

Let me know if you need more info,
Mark Rifkin

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