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Nutrition is as important to the body as water or air. Nutrition science is the science that lies behind the relationship between our diet, disease and health.  Nutritionists are trained in all aspects of nutritional science and can work in fields as varied as malnutrition, eating disorders, sports diets.   There is a tendency to use the terms nutritionist, dietician and nutritional therapist interchangeably but in some countries the term dietician is a distinct legal profession. The Patient QI best info link explains this in more detail.

There are sub categories of nutrition such as nutrigenetics which look at how our inherited genes affect our diet and how our body responds to the food we eat. Nutrition physiology looks at how foods affect metabolism, and sports nutritionists specialise in the nutrition requirements for athletes. Prenatal nutrition is the specialist area that covers the nutritional requirements before, during and after pregnancy.

Nutrition plays a vital role in the treatment of poor health, as a support during the recovery process and also in the prevention of illness.  Patients who are looking for advice on nutrition as a therapy for a specific health issue should see the section on nutritional therapy.


Patient QI’s View:

Diet and nutrition is key to any natural health strategy. It is possibly the most important factor during the treatment process - without the right nutrients, the body simply cannot fight disease and illness. A nutritional therapist should be included in every treatment strategy (see nutritional therapy).


Patient QI's Best info link:


Rules Regulations and Associations

The regulations for Nutritionists as a profession are different in different countries, some have voluntary self regulation and others have no regulation.

The global umbrella organisation for nutrition is the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS)   Europe also an umbrella organisation, the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS):



UK: Nutrition Society

British Association for Applied Nutritional Therapy (BANT)


Austria: Austrian Nutrition Society

France: Societe Francaise de Nutrition

Germany: German Nutrition Society

Ireland: The Nutrition Society

Spain: Sociedad Espanola de nutricion

Sweden: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences – nutrition

Switzerland: Swiss society of nutrition



Australia: Nutrition Society of Australia

Dietitians Society of Australia

New Zealand: The Nutrition Society of New Zealand

Dietitians New Zealand

Clinical Nutrition Association (CAN)



USA: American Nutrition Association

American Society for Nutrition

Canada: Canadian Nutrition Society

Canadian Society of Nutrition Management

Dietitians of Canada

Canadian Association of Holistic Nutritian Professionals



Nutrition society of South Africa

South African Association for Nutrition Therapy (SAANT)



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