How to decode diet expert credentials
Dozens of diet and nutrition expert designations exist. Some require years of education and extensive exams, while others come from unverified web courses or weekend seminars.Here are some of the most common and credible credentials:
RD - Registered dietitians hold a bachelor's degree in nutrition approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics; complete a 1,200-hour supervised internship; pass an exam and do continued education.
CNS - Certified nutrition specialists have an advanced degree in nutrition or related field; complete 1,000 hours of supervised practice (500 hours for doctoral candidates); pass a Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists exam; and receive continued education.
DACBN - Diplomate of American Clinical Board of Nutrition requires a licensed health care provider to do 300 hours of post-doctoral nutrition study and pass a two-part exam.
DCBCN - Diplomate of Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition must be a licensed chiropractor with two years' experience; complete 300 hours of post-doctoral nutrition education, pass a standardized exam, and meet yearly continued education requirements.
CDE - Certified diabetes educators have advanced degrees; 1,000 hours of related experience or two years as a health practitioner; pass an exam and do continued education.
LD/N - Licensed dietitians/nutritionists have a state license as required by state law.
CD/N - Certified dietitians/nutritionists are state-certified to practice nutrition.