Medical Definition of Nutritionist

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/12/2018

Nutritionist: 1) In a hospital or nursing home, a person who plans and/or formulates special meals for patients. It can also simply be a euphemism for a cook who works in a medical facility but who does not have extensive training in special nutritional needs. 2) In clinical practice, a specialist in nutrition. Nutritionists can help patients with special needs, allergies, health problems, or a desire for increased energy or weight change devise healthy diets. Some nutritionists in private practice are well- trained, hold a degree and are licensed. Depending on state law, however, a person using the title may not be trained or licensed at all.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018