RD/RDN – Registered Dietitians (RD) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are the same thing. Some dietitians choose to add the “Nutritionist” to the end of their title, but it’s a personal choice. These providers completed the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. accredited college or university. They also completed a supervised practice program (like a medical residency for dietitians) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Most importantly, RDs/RDNs had to pass a Registration Exam for Dietitians (board exam) in order to practice.
Nutritionist - Anybody can call themselves a nutritionist. This is not a regulated title and does not require training, qualifications, or licensure. Nutritionists typically do not have any professional training, and therefore, should not be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of any diseases.
Health Coach - This is becoming a more popular path as insurance companies are starting to cover the cost of more wellness services. These professionals work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes, including diet. Most positions require a Baccalaureate degree plus a certification, but they are not dietitians or nutrition experts!