Consumer Information

What You Should Know About Certified Dietitians/Nutritionists and Their Services

What is a certified dietitian or certified nutritionist?

A certified dietitian or certified nutritionist integrates and applies principles derived from nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, food management, and behavioral and social sciences to achieve and maintain people's health.

When would I seek the services of a certified dietitian/nutritionist?

You would go to a certified dietitian/nutritionist if you had questions about your diet and how it affects your health. You might also seek the services of one of these professionals if you had a health condition that could be improved or alleviated through dietary changes.

What conditions do certified dietitians/nutritionists treat?

Certified dietitians/nutritionists assess nutrition needs based on age, activity level, and special circumstances resulting from medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, food allergies, and obesity.

What services do certified dietitians/nutritionists offer?

Certified dietitians/nutritionists:

  • assess nutrition needs and food patterns
  • plan for and direct the provision of food appropriate for physical and dietary needs
  • provide nutrition counseling, such as advice on dietary changes
  • plan menus and direct the preparation of food to meet dietary needs

Do I need to be referred to a dietitian/nutritionist to receive services?


What credentials does a New York certified dietitian/nutritionist have?

New York certified dietitians/nutritionists have completed:

  • a bachelor's degree in dietetics/nutrition with a minimum of six months of acceptable experience


  • an associate's degree in dietetics/nutrition with at least eight years of acceptable experience.

These certified professionals have also passed a State-approved licensing examination.

Who may use the title certified dietitian-nutritionist, certified dietitian, or certified nutritionist in New York?

Only a person certified by the State Education Department may use these titles.

May only a certified dietitian/nutritionist perform nutritional counseling in New York?

Certification is not required to perform nutritional counseling in New York, but only individuals certified by the New York State Education Department may use the certified dietitian/nutritionist titles.

Where do certified dietitians/nutritionists work?

Certified dietitians/nutritionists work in their own private practices, health care facilities, schools, and industry.

What questions should individuals with disabilities ask about accessing services?

Ask such questions as whether the service location is physically accessible (curb cuts, ramps, restrooms, etc.) as well as whether there is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and parking for people with disabilities.

Verifying a New York License

New York licensees must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional's name, address, and dates of the registration period. Dietitians and nutritionists must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify an individual's license and registration on this site.

Last Updated: July 10, 2009