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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: accredited nutrition degree programs chicago
Date: November 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm PST

In Reply to: accredited nutrition degree programs chicago posted by Jane on November 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm:

Hi Jane,

Thanks for your question, and I applaud your ambition. This is a bit of a long answer.

Unfortunately, there are no completely holistic accredited nutrition programs, and only one program blends holistic with conventional ideas: Bastyr (, an accredited program in Washington state.

You can check out programs approved by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) at Click on "careers and students" then "accredited education programs" in the top left corner.

Of course, there are many unaccredited programs. Anyone can establish a "school" or program---and just about anyone is. Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC is an example. They're not accredited by any recognized authority or agency.

Now for the good news: once you finish your requirements and obtain an RD, you can direct your training and continuing education in any direction you like, including holistic, as long as your practice doesn't violate the licensing rules of your state.

"Nutritionist" is a term that (like "dietitian") is licensed in some states (meaning users need to have a state-issued license to legally identify themselves as a "nutritionist"). Nutritionists are certified by a competing organization to the ADA known as the CBNS (

In other states, "nutritionist" is not licensed, meaning anyone can use it. Even in licensing states, many unlicensed practitioners are able to use the term illegally because of poor enforcement. In my opinion, the term has become almost meaningless, since just about anyone can identify themselves as such with little or no consequences. In my state, it seems that 90% of the people who use it have never attended an accredited nutrition program. So, I immediately question a nutritionist's credentials.

Let me know what you decide. I hope this is helpful!
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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