The nutritionist, who he is and what he does

The nutritionist, who he is and what he does

The nutritionist is a graduate in biology or pharmacy, specializing in human nutrition , who can formulate  diets but not diagnose or prescribe drugs. Let’s find out better.

>   What the  nutritionist does

>   How to become a  nutritionist

>   Laws in Italy and Europe

>   Curiosity

>   Useful resources on the profession of the  nutritionist



What the nuritionist does

The nutritionist is a senior biologist regularly enrolled in the register, specialized in human nutrition who can draw up diets for subjects without pathologies , but cannot diagnose and prescribe drugs. He can work as a freelancer or as an employee of public bodies. His main task is to educate consumers about healthy eating. For his skills he can also draw up diets and collective programs for various catering sites (kindergartens, schools, restaurants, canteens, etc.)

Expert in food education and information, he is able to develop dietary schemes for communities (schools, kindergartens, companies) or analyze the energy needs of individuals, to calculate a correct diet based on the activities carried out. He works for the ASLs. He is also involved in food statistics.


Become a nutritionist

To become a nutritionist you need adegree in Biological Sciences or PharmacyIn addition, a specialization in Food Scienceis recommended, but not mandatory.


The profession of nutritionist in Italy and abroad

“Nutritionist” is a title still under discussion in Italy. Currently the title of nutritionist is associated with the graduate in biology who can, even without any specific didactic process in this regard, carry out the profession of nutritionist .

In Italy there are three main professional categories that deal with nutrition:

  • dietician  (a specialist in nutrition, is the most complete professional figure)
  • dietician  (food technician, subordinate to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment)
  • nutritionist (professional recognized by the state, provides advice and information)

In English- speaking countries and in some European countries, on the other hand, the terminology contemplates only two macro categories (for further details see Dietitian ):

  • dietitian (medical specialist in nutrition)
  • dietetic technicians (food technician)
  • nutritionist (professional without educational and regulatory credentials)


Law and professional requirements to become a nutritionist



Can the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) be the nutritionist ‘s natural ground for adoption ? The main objective of FAO is in fact “to guarantee food security for all to ensure that the population has regular access to sufficient and good quality food for an active and healthy life”. Working opportunities with FAO.


Useful resources on the profession of nutritionist

  • INRAN (National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition)
  • ABNI   (Association of Italian Nutrition Biologists)
  • ASPENI (Professional Association of Italian Ethologists and Nutritionists)
  • ONB (National Order of Biologists)
  • Bromatological tables of foods
  • Nutrition page of the online magazine The food fact
  • Nutrition & Metabolism , online magazine, in English


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