Let’s see who the nutritionist biologist is, what his role is and what differentiates him from other professionals in the field of nutrition.
Surely we have happened to have confused ideas about the roles of the nutritionist, dietician and dietician and what are the specific skills of each of these professionals. Often, in fact, there is a tendency to confuse their roles or to think that they are different ways to indicate figures with the same skills. So let’s do some clarity.
Who is a nutritionist and what does he do
The term nutritionist is rather generic, we should in fact speak of a “biologist nutritionist”, who is a health professional with a degree in Biological Sciences and registered with the National Order of Biologists. Enrollment in this professional Order, following the passing of the State Exam, is a necessary requirement for a biologist to become a nutritionist. So let’s see what a nutritionist does.
The activity and skills of the biologist in the nutritional field are sanctioned by article 3 of the law of 24.5.1967, according to which the object of the biologist’s profession is the activities of “assessment of human nutritional and energy needs” and according to the decree of Ministry of Grace and Justice n.362 / 93 the biologist can develop diets for single individuals or groups of people once the physio-pathological conditions of the same have been ascertained.
The nutritionist biologist also has a biochemical knowledge of food. In practice, the nutritionist biologist can assess nutritional needs and develop suitable diets for a healthy person or with pathologies that have been previously diagnosed by a doctor.
Once the diagnosis of one or more pathologies has been made, the nutritionist biologist works independently from the doctor or other professional figures. Of course, the nutritionist cannot diagnose or prescribe drugs, but he can recommend the use of food supplements.
When is it useful to contact a nutritionist?
We often associate the word “diet” with a restrictive diet, but in reality this term indicates a set of lifestyle and eating habits that allow you to stay healthy and prevent any pathologies that an incorrect lifestyle could cause. In fact, it is not certain that one should only turn to a nutritionist when it is necessary to lose weight. The nutritionist, in fact, can be of help in various circumstances; let’s see below when to go to a nutritionist.
- Poor nutrition: when you eat poorly because you lead a hectic and unregulated life, it would be useful to contact a nutritionist, because this condition could lead to serious consequences over time, causing diseases such as gastritis, colitis and inflammation of the gastro-intestinal system. intestinal and not. Even the “simple” imbalance of the intestinal bacterial flora, inevitably generated by incorrect eating habits, should be considered and treated appropriately;
- In case of pathologies: the nutritionist is also useful when you are suffering from diagnosed pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, gastro-intestinal disorders. Sometimes, even in cases of cancer, the nutritionist can offer support to deal with the disease in the best possible way and support any drug therapy. Naturally, in these cases the nutritionist works in full synergy with the doctor;
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: pregnancy and breastfeeding are “special” physiological conditions in which the intervention of a nutritionist may be useful, to guide us to make healthy choices in the protection of the mother and the child;
- Menopause: the same thing said above also applies to menopause, which a healthy diet can help to cope with in the best possible way;
- Intolerances: in case of food intolerances, the nutritionist can support the patient in the food choices aimed at the correct management of the problem;
- Weight gain: those who have to gain weight and want to do it in a healthy way, avoiding making mistakes at the expense of their health, can contact a nutritionist, who can be useful to suggest appropriate behaviors and food choices;
- Sport: if you play sports, both at an amateur and professional level, the nutritionist will be able to indicate which foods to choose, in what quantities and at what times of the day to consume them, in order to maintain and improve sports performance;
- Lose weight: naturally, when you have to lose weight, taking a path guided by a nutritionist will be essential in order to lose weight correctly and preserve the acquired results over time;
- Vegetarian diets: even vegetarians and vegans can find help in contacting a nutritionist who will guide them in the food choices suitable to avoid possible food shortages.
In short, you can turn to the nutritionist every time you need help to get better “simply” by eating well in consideration of their physical and emotional conditions and their lifestyle habits.
Nutritionist for weight loss: what it does and how it can help
Very frequently people turn to a nutritionist to lose weight because they are overweight and want, or must, for health reasons, lose weight.
The intervention of a nutritionist consists of visits, during which the nutritionist carries out a thorough investigation of the health conditions and lifestyle habits of the person in question, then opens with an anamnesis, thanks to which the nutritionist tries to get to know the patient by gathering information, also accepting any questions and doubts.
We then proceed with the measurement of the body parameters and possibly the analysis of the body composition, essential for having a complete picture of the patient’s state of health. This is followed by the elaboration of the nutritional plan, which will be studied on the basis of the information collected during the visit and on the basis of the measurements made. The nutritional plan will offer a precise guide to the patient, indicating the type of foods suitable for weight loss and also the quantities.
At this point a real journey begins with the nutritionist, who will follow the person constantly, arranging periodic checks and making himself available to the patient for any doubts. Once this process has been completed, the patient will be able to continue independently having taken advantage of the advice and directives that the nutritionist will have made available over time.
Nutritionist, dietician, dietician: what are the differences?
Now let’s see what are the differences between nutritionist, dietician and dietician.
- Nutritionist: we have seen that the nutritionist biologist is a health professional with a degree in Biological Sciences who passed the State Exam and subsequently enrolled in the National Order of Biologists, which by law can assess the nutritional needs of a person or a community of people, and prepare an adequate diet independently;
- Dietitian: The dietician is a doctor with a degree in Medicine and Surgery and a specialization in Food Sciences. The dietician, therefore, can make clinical diagnoses and evaluations, develop diets and prescribe drugs;
- Dietitian: the dietician is a health worker, with a three-year degree in Dietetics, who can develop diets, but only on medical prescription. In this case, therefore, the doctor will prescribe a diet, which the dietician will elaborate. The dietician cannot diagnose or prescribe drugs, only supplements.
All three of these professionals can carry out their activities in public or private structures or as freelancers.
How to become a nutritionist: training and study path
To become a nutritionist biologist, after graduation, you must pass the State Exam, which can be accessed after obtaining a specialist degree in one of the following degree courses:
- biological science
- Agricultural biotechnology
- Industrial biotechnologies
- Medical, veterinary and pharmaceutical biotechnologies
- Human nutrition sciences
- Sciences and technologies for the environment and the territory
Passing the State Exam then allows the biologist to enroll in the National Order of Biologists after which it will be possible to carry out the activity of a nutritional biologist. They also constitute cultural qualifications, therefore not strictly necessary for the performance of the activity of the nutritionist, but certainly useful for the profession, any specializations or qualifications of research doctors. The nutritionist biologist, in the course of his activity, however, has the duty and obligation to keep himself constantly updated, attending seminars and technical-scientific in-depth courses. For all information on specialization courses and the detailed planof studies you can check directly on the websites of the universities in your cities.