Nutritionists focus primarily on providing guidance about food and healthy eating habits. While they offer valuable advice on nutrition for general wellness and sports performance, they do not handle clinical issues or medical conditions. The title 'nutritionist' is not protected by law, which means anyone can refer to themselves as a nutritionist regardless of their level of training or experience. However, registers like the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) help assure the public of a nutritionist’s qualifications and competency in performance nutrition.

Dietitians, on the other hand, are qualified health professionals who specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public-health level. They are the only nutrition professionals regulated by law and are bound by an ethical code that mandates high standards of professional practice. Dietitians are uniquely qualified to provide tailored dietary advice and create comprehensive meal plans to address specific medical and health needs.

Both roles are crucial; however, if you have specific dietary needs linked to health issues, a registered dietitian is the appropriate professional to consult.