Looking for a Dietitian South Africa?
The nutrition sector may feel confusing with terms such as dietitian, nutritionist and nutritional therapist used interchangeably so we thought we would give you three reasons why it’s worth booking to see a dietitian.
1.‘Dietitian’ is a protected title
Not just anyone can call themselves a dietitian. Dietitians in South Africa are statutorily regulated, with a protected title and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. The title ‘dietitian’ can only be used by those appropriately trained professionals who have registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HPCSA). Unfortunately, the title ‘nutritionist’ is not protected in most countries and anyone can say they are a nutritionist, even if they only completed a 2 week online course. In South Africa they can register with the HPCSA if they have done the appropriate training so please check if they are.
2. Dietitians have a university degree in nutrition
Always ask about your health practitioner’s qualifications so you know what you are getting. Dietitians have to complete a recognized nutrition qualification at degree or master’s level at specified universities. Most dietitians study the subject of nutrition for 3-4 years to ensure they use the most up-to-date and scientifically rigorous evidence to base their advice to patients. Dietitians also get training from hospital internships in managing a range of clinical conditions and are the only nutrition health care professionals working in hospitals.
3. Registered Dietitian South Africa are regulated by the HPCSA
Dietitians need to be registered to practice. They have to abide by the HPCSA Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics. This ensures they provide a high quality of service. They can be ‘struck off’ for not doing so. Nutritional therapists are not eligible to register with the HPCSA and so are not regulated in South Africa. If you receive incorrect nutritional advice from a nutritional therapist there is no one you can report them to.
- Everyone seems to be an expert in nutrition these days given the accessibility of information on the internet. However, if you would like advice backed by scientific evidence from a registered nutrition expert, please book to see a dietitian.
- Always evaluate the qualifications of your health care professional
- Please check if your health care professional is registered with the HPCSA