Friday, July 17, 2009

A trip to the "nutritionist"

Did you know that if you live anywhere in Canada other than Quebec (thanks to Fon10 who noted that in Quebec "nutritionist" is indeed a protected term) you're a nutritionist?

That's because the term isn't protected by any type of regulatory body. If you want to put "Nutritionist" on your business card, go right ahead.

While I'm sure some "Nutritionists" are exceedingly good at what they do, knowledgeable, helpful and evidence based, unfortunately I'm sure that some are well represented by this week's Funny Friday video.

Oh, and don't think I'm being too smug here. There are crappy, quack doctors out there too which reminds me of one of my favourite jokes

Do you know what they call the person who graduates last in their class in medical school?

Have a great weekend!

[Hat tip to my friend and colleague Dr. Sara Kirk]

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  1. I would point out that in Quebec, both term are protected by law.

  2. Thanks Fon10 - updated the post.

  3. Registered dietitian is a protected and regulated title. It requires four years honours food and nutrition science degree, a one year hospital internship, and a national exam.

  4. That Mitchell and Webb clip is just fantastic. I'll definitely be emailing it to my colleagues!

    We have just the same problem in the UK. Dietitian is a protected title (thankfully) but we have all manner of "nutritionists"

  5. Protected or not, it is more about how current and how effective they are. When it comes to type 2 diabetes (and most other chronic diseases) most Registered Dietitians, Certified Diabetic Educators and even the doctors are woefully behind the times.

    The most recent research in nutrition will not be included in the curriculums of the various schools. After the years it takes to finally be accepted by the different associations (Heart, Stroke, Diabetes, MS, Etc.) it takes more years to make it into mainstream medicine. The worst part is a Registered Dietitian is not allowed to use the most recent research if it is not accepted by his or her's association.

    The nutritionist is not hampered by committees and approved standards of practice that are years behind the cutting edge of research.

    Just one of many examples is the Glycemic Index first proposed by Dr. David Jenkins back in 1982. Canada's Diabetes Association just recently accepted the concept. In the US the ADA is still not fully accepting it.

    Here is the really ludicrous part. I am a type 2 diabetic with no degree, certificate or anything else. I had to go to the internet to learn how to get my blood glucose under control. I learned how to best control diabetes (and most other chronic diseases)with diet.

    Based on my own independent study and evaluation of what was available I have built a website to help other diabetics that many are now considering the best source on the internet.


  6. Toma - I have read your information and the problem really is that you *THINK* you know what you are talking about, but you don't. You are highly misinformed and completely off base. You have no credentials in nutrition (aren't you a real estate agent?) and yet you feel you are qualified to disseminate nutrition information to a group of people that require a knowledgeable expert. It is highly irresponsible and ignorant of you.

    I am actually shocked and appalled that you have simply decided that you are qualified enough to teach nutrition information to people with diabetes with absolutely no education or qualifications to do so.

    Everything you have said is wrong in your post. You do not know what is taught in universities because you have never been there. The ADA is not fully accepting of the GI because there is not sufficient evidence of its usefulness, not because they are 'behind the times' as you allude to.

    Toma, you contribute to the problem of misinformation and quackery in nutrition. I urge you to stop.

  7. Andy,

    I was a real estate agent many years ago. I have also done many other things. I am currently retired.

    I am a type 2 diabetic and the only claim I make is what I am doing is working. For four years now I have maintained A1C of 5.0 - 5.6 with proper diet and not meds. The ADA and CDA information was not getting results.

    I get a lot of emails from other diabetics that have tried what I have on my site and got great results after being frustrated by ADA recommendations that were not working.

    You are shocked and appalled that I (a non professional) would share with other type 2 diabetics what I had to learn by myself.

    I am shocked and appalled that the ADA (both of them), CDA and the other OFFICIALY sanctioned sources are not doing a better job.

    If you have something specific from mysite that you think is wrong (other than the fact that I am an outsider) Please bring it to my attention. I will research further.

    You are misinformed on Glycemic Index It does in fact have great validity if one understands it and how to apply it.

    You are right I have not been to medical school. My comments about what is not being taught is from discussions with doctors and diagnosticians that have.

    The point I was making in my original post is the medical community needs to embrase what actually works instead of continuing with out dated idea that are not.

    If mainstream medicine were getting it right and getting better results there would not be so many patients turning to the internet instead of their doctors.

    I will continue as long as there is such strong support from other type 2 diabetics telling me they are getting better results than they were from their doctors.

    The main point of my original post is the ridiculousness of the situation. There should be no need for a sire like mine. ADA,CDA, Health Canada, FDA,USDA etc. should be doing such a good job that that no one would turn to any other source. Unfortunatly they are not.

    Andy, I am sorry if that offends you. One of Canada's top diabetic doctors who was on my radio show told me the reason the mainstream is so far behind the curve is because they are slow to accept new ideas. There are many years between discovery and implementation.


  8. Haha, great Funny Friday!

    In Alberta, the title "Registered Nutritionist" is also protected, and I'm assuming that's partly to keep grads from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition from calling themselves "Registered Holistic Nutritionists". Unfortunately, they haven't been doing a great job actually enforcing this law and I meet "RHN"s all the time!