Medical Legal ConsultantsServing Attorneys Nationwide

Dietitian & Nutritionist Expert Witnesses

Find the right expert for cases involving nutrition expertise

Dietitians are health professionals with expertise in nutrition and the human diet. A dietitian’s work blends nutrition, behavioral science, and social science to prevent disease, treat eating disorders, and help people make better dietary choices.

In the United States, dietitians typically need to earn a Bachelor's degree in nutrition or a related field from an accredited institution. They then need to complete a supervised practice program, also known as a dietetic internship, typically lasting 6-12 months. This internship must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Following the internship, dietitians need to pass the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam.

Dietitians work in many settings, including:

  • Clinical dietitians
  • Community dietitians
  • Foodservice dietitians
  • Gerontological dietitians
  • Pediatric dietitians
  • Research dietitians
  • Administrative dietitians
  • Business dietitians
  • Consulting dietitians
  • Dietetic technicians

Note that while the terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not equivalent. In most U.S. states, the term nutritionist is not legally protected, whereas the title of dietitian can be used only by those who have met specified professional requirements. As such, while all dietitians are nutritionists, not all nutritionists are dietitians – and some self-proclaimed “nutritionists” have no formal training in nutrition.

The role of a dietitian in an injury case

Dietitians can serve as valuable expert witnesses in various personal injury and medical malpractice matters, especially nursing home negligence matters that may involve choking or neglect of basic needs. For example, dietitians can opine on whether standards of care were followed when treating a patient with an eating disorder. They can also explain the role of nutrition in treatment and recovery from an injury and how medication or surgery may affect a person’s nutritional needs.

The Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants network includes registered dietitians ready to assist the legal community as expert witnesses. To learn more, contact us today.

Free Case Summary ReviewsClick Here