The American Dietetic Association is changing its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as of January 1, 2012. This organization has been instrumental in furthering nutrition education, research and medical nutrition therapy for over 90 years. The website contains a wealth of information on all types of nutrition issues for both professionals and the public.

A Registered Dietitian is certified by the ADA–s/he has completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or dietetics, and has completed a core curriculum of basic science , nutrition, and food science courses. In addition, s/he has completed an intensive supervised practical experience or internship.

Many RD’s have post graduate degrees, and specialty certifications in specific clinical nutrition areas, such as Pediatrics, Sports Nutrition, Nutrition support (refers to specialized nutrition, such as tube feeding and parenteral or intervenous feeding), or Renal Nutrition (Renal refers to kidneys). Lori Brizee has specialty certification in Pediatric Nutrition.

The Registered Dietitian must obtain 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years to maintain registration. Specialty certifications must be renewed every 5 years by proof of continued practice in the specialty field, and completion of an exam to show continued competency.

The ADA works hard to make sure that RD’s have access to continuing education–it publishes an excellent peer reviewed journal every month, has numerous “practice groups” for RD’s working in different areas of nutrition (e.g. diabetes, weight management, sports nutrition, vegetarian nutrition, and many, many more), and offers online and on location workshops and seminars.

ADA’s volunteer media spokespeople are resources for expert commentary, story ideas and background on the full range of food and nutrition topics. ADA is available to help with everything from providing background information to arranging an interview with an ADA spokesperson.

If you are looking for a person with the education and clinical expertise to answer your nutrition questions, find a Registered Dietitian near you or online, who specializes in the area of nutrition you are concerned about.