A number of different titles are used to describe professionals working in the field of nutrition.
Nutritional Therapists must meet the National Occupational Standards for Nutritional Therapy and are presently coming under regulation by the Nutritional Therapy Council. Nutritional therapy encompasses the use of carefully compiled individual prescriptions for diet and lifestyle in order to alleviate or prevent ailments, and promote optimal health. These recommendations may include guidance on natural detoxification, procedures to promote colon health, methods to support digestion and absorption, the avoidance of ingestion or inhalation of toxins or allergens, and the appropriate use of supplementary nutrients.
Nutritional Therapists often work with patients, many of whom have been referred by medical practitioners, who have chronic health problems that conventional medicine finds difficult to treat. These include allergies, digestive and bowel disorders, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, depression or stress, auto-immune conditions, migraine, and skin disorders.
Nutritionists often work outside a clinical context: in the food industry, in research and academia, in government and other agencies. They are qualified to provide information to the public about food and healthy eating, but not about special therapeutic diets.
Dieticians work principally in the National Health Service and are regulated by the Health Professions Council. Their professional body is the British Dietetic Association. A Dietician uses the science of nutrition to devise eating plans for patients to treat medical conditions. They also work to promote good health by helping to facilitate a positive change in food choices amongst individuals, groups and communities.
NB. Only Dieticians and Nutritional Therapists are trained in clinical practice to give one-on-one personal health advice. Both groups must practise with full professional indemnity insurance.