Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
Adult Health Library
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Topic IndexLibrary Index
Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts. They assess a person’s health and nutritional needs and come up with plans to meet those needs. RDNs are trained to help you with a variety of food, nutrition, and health needs. These include:

  • Helping you lose or gain weight

  • Finding foods that help ease swallowing

  • Coming up with special diets for certain conditions, such as celiac disease, food allergies, gout, or digestive problems

  • Understanding dietary changes that need to be made because of a disability

  • Helping with tube feeding formulas and schedules for people who can’t swallow

  • Teaching people and their families about nutrition topics linked to diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease

  • Helping a person overcome an eating disorder

  • Finding foods to help improve athletic performance

  • Teaching you how to plan and prepare healthy meals

  • Helping you get ready for or adjust to eating after having weight-loss (bariatric) surgery

  • Teaching parents about child nutrition

  • Teaching about good nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy

RDNs practice in many different settings. These include:

  • Hospitals

  • Inpatient rehab (rehabilitation) centers

  • Home health settings

  • Private practice and consulting

  • School districts and universities

  • Community or government nutrition programs

  • Fitness centers

  • Culinary schools and restaurants

  • Media, communications, social media, and food marketing

  • Grocery stores

RDNs hold an undergraduate degree, have completed an approved internship program, and have passed a national exam to be credentialed as registered dietitian nutritionists. Many have also earned a master's degree in dietetics or nutrition science. RDNs must complete ongoing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brittany Poulson MDA RDN CD CDE
Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Cunningham RN BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2020
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.