DEAR ABBY: I read your column daily and notice that you often suggest readers consult a “nutritionist” for assistance with healthy eating, weight loss, etc. 

I have been a registered nurse for almost 50 years, and I would like to point out that the professional to be consulted about nutrition is a registered dietitian. A registered dietitian holds a college degree and usually a higher level degree, and teaches to the American Dietetic Association nutritional standard. This is an important distinction. 

A nutritionist can be anybody who says they are one. Registered dietitians do not promote any fad diets and teach proper eating. This is especially important for people with medical diagnoses such as diabetes or heart disease, among others. But the teaching is for anyone who wants information about healthy eating to maintain good health throughout life. 

Some dietitians have private offices, but if your readers can’t locate one, they should ask their primary doctor so he/she can refer them to one. Or call the nutrition department of their local hospital, as there are often classes that can be attended at the hospital. – NURSE WHO KNOWS IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR NURSE: Thank you for taking the time to share this information with my readers. Healthy eating is the basis for healthy living.

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