Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Celebrates the Experts: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is March 8

February 15, 2017

CHICAGO – March is National Nutrition Month®, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthful eating. March is also when the Academy celebrates Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, honoring the contributions and expertise of all RDNs as the food and nutrition experts. This year, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day will take place March 8.

"Registered dietitian nutritionists are dedicated to improving people's health through food and nutrition," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Lauri Wright.

"It is crucial for consumers to know whom to trust when they are seeking timely, accurate and science-based nutrition advice from an educated, experienced and trusted expert," Wright says. "You know you are getting the best possible advice when it comes from a registered dietitian nutritionist."

Since 2008, the second Wednesday in March has marked Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, when the Academy acknowledges the significant work of RDNs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans.

"Congress and federal health agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have recognized that registered dietitian nutritionists' expertise in nutrition and health is more extensive than any other health profession," Wright says.

Registered dietitian nutritionists must meet strict academic and professional requirements, including earning at least a bachelor's degree, completing a supervised practice program and passing a registration examination. RDNs must also complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. More than half of all RDNs have also earned master's degrees or higher.

The majority of RDNs work in the treatment and prevention of disease, often in hospitals, HMOs, public health clinics, nursing homes or other health care facilities. Additionally, RDNs work throughout the community in schools, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice.

Learn more about what a registered dietitian nutritionist can do for you and find an RDN in your area at eatright.org.

The Academy's National Nutrition Month website includes helpful articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Consumers are also encouraged to follow National Nutrition Month on Facebook and Twitter (#NationalNutritionMonth).

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All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use "registered dietitian nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.