Hey there, welcome to my corner of the internet! I’m Benjamin, a registered associate nutritionist from the rural depths of Somerset, UK but currently residing in Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.
Food has always fascinated me. One of my earliest and most vivid memories was when I was old enough to reach the kitchen surfaces (and by reach, I mean precariously stand on a stall or folding chair) to flick through a very large and heavy hardback edition of Mrs Beeton’s Household Management: A Complete Cookery Book, to locate a recipe for shortcrust pastry or a Victoria sponge. I grew up in rural Somerset, allowing my obsession with food to expand to the point where I hijacked my parent’s garden to grow vegetables and rear chickens for their eggs.
Fast forward a few years, I became incredibly interested in the science behind what we eat and how that impacts our bodies and have since graduated from Bournemouth University with a BSc (Hons) in nutrition.
WHAT IS A REGISTERED ASSOCIATE NUTRITIONIST?
At first glance, the world of nutrition is quite confusing. This confusion generally arises due to the variety of different roles within nutrition. For instance, dietitians, nutritionists and nutritional therapists all fall under the umbrella of nutrition but each require differing levels of training and have their own remit to work within.
Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals regulated by law and usually complete a BSc (Hons) in Dietetics. Dietitians work clinically from an evidence base to treat complex conditions such as diabetes, IBS and food allergies. On the other hand, anyone can call themselves a nutritional therapist. Nutritional therapists often lack formal in-depth training and usually make recommendations that are not recognised as valid treatment in conventional medicine.
Like dietitians, registered associate nutritionists work from an evidence base and are qualified to provide scientifically sound dietary advice. Although the title ‘nutritionist’ is not protected by law, registered associate nutritionists have often completed a degree in nutrition and have met strict standards of professional education set by the Association for Nutrition. Individuals that have completed this vigorous training are eligible to register with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (my registration number is 12056).
A more comprehensive description of the roles of and differences between dietitians, nutritionists and nutritional therapists can be found here.