In Brazil, we have a law: who has not a nutrition degree, after 4 or 5 years in university, can not prescribe a diet. That┬┤s because nutrition envolves a lot of nuances, begining by biochemistry (in all situations!) and the knowledge about physiology in each time of life and in all the patholgical situations, in which we must use nutrition for controlling diseases or disfunctions. I believe that in USA must be the same. Usually, I work together with Exercise┬┤s and Sport┬┤s Professsionals. It┬┤s better for the clients and for us, of course.
Jason, Rebekah and Danielle are right on! Unless the guidelines have changed in the state of California any one can call themselves a “Nutritionist”, this is especially true for people who work at supplement stores. Dietitian’s are registered both here and in all other states and go thru stringent testing and that’s AFTER obtaining their Bachlor’s/Master’s Degree.
Although I do have my degree, in the public eye I am the same as the person who works in the wholefoods/gnc,etc stores…only I’m not as knowledgeable about the products that they sell Haha! I hope that helps!
Both the above answers are spot on. Personal trainers are not registered dieticians and are ill advised to share anything beyond the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services guidelines. You may perhaps quote reputable experts and/or studies by revealing your source and let the client be the judge of its validity.
Being a registered dietitian in California, my understanding is that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist (even without any real education) because of the money that moves from supplement companies to lobbyists and law makers in our state. I recommend that you just get the Lifestyle and Weight Management certification from the American Council on Exercise and refer anyone who has issues outside of their recommendations to a Registered Dietitian.
I am not 100% what California regulations are. However, to avoid the nutrition certification, why not work with a nutritionist, or dietician of your choice. Networking with people can not only benefit your clients, but benefit yourself through a referral system. You refer clients to them they refer to you. Then you do not have to worry about getting money for a nutrition certification which most likely be very limited anyway. This will help as they will consult with a professional who specializes and also, work with you! I am not sure of people who know how to exercise and not eat, and vise verse. This can also, be done with physicians, and physical therapists to expand your client/patient base.