Dietitians provide information and advice about food and nutrition. They promote the wellbeing of people by helping them with their food-related concerns. Dietitians advise people about how to maintain a healthy weight and plan nutritional diets and menus. They also help with special dietary needs for people with conditions such as diabetes, cancer or food allergies.
Dietitians can work in public and private hospitals, community health centres, corporate organisations or food manufacturing. Some dietitians specialise in areas such as nutrition and ageing (gerontological dietitians), premature babies (neonatal dietitians), sports or nutrition research.
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Management of acute and chronic conditions
- Information and advice
- Health-related information
- Nutrition advice
Appointments can be made directly without a referral.
Your doctor or other health professional may also refer you to a dietitian.
A referral from your doctor may be needed for Department of Veterans’ Affairs requirements. If unsure, check with your dietitian before attending your appointment.
The cost of a dietitian varies depending on the treatment. Contact the clinic before you attend if you are unsure of the cost.
Medicare covers dietitian fees for individuals who are eligible under the Chronic Disease Management (CDM) program.
Consultations with dietitians in public hospitals and community health centres are free of charge.
SectorConventional healthcare – allied health
RegistrationOptional registration through the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)
Minimum qualificationsThe minimum education requirement for an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) in Australia is completion of an accredited dietetic program as specified by the Dietitians Association of Australia. These include Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics), Master of Dietetics Studies, Master of Dietetics, Master of Dietetic Practice, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics and Bachelor of Health Sciences and Master of Dietetic Practice.Visit [http://daa.asn.au/universities-recognition/accreditation-of-dietetic-programs/dietetic-programs-currently-accredited/].
Make sure that your dietitian is a member of a recognised professional association such as the Dietitians Association of Australia. They will have the letters APD (Accredited Practising Dietitian) after their name.
- Not all dietitians are accredited with a professional organisation so make sure you check their qualifications and training credentials.
- Dietitians can call themselves nutritionists but nutritionists without dietetics qualifications cannot work as dietitians.
- Dietitians also work with food manufacturers to manage their food systems and apply food guidelines and policies.