Under the Dietetics Act (S.O. 1991, c. 26): Only Dietitians may be registered in Ontario. However, according to the College of Dietitians of Ontario, which regulates the practice of dietetics: "In Ontario, anyone can legally provide nutrition information and call themselves a nutritionist." In order to call yourself a Dietitian, however, and practice medical nutrition therapy (diagnosing, treating, curing diseases, etc.), you must be admitted as a "member" of the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
You may legally call yourself a nutritionist without being a member of the college, and may use the titles Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Holistic Nutritionist, etc. The only titles restricted are: Registered Dietitian, Dietitian, Professional Dietitian, RD (PDt, RDt, Dt.P)
Dietitians in Canada pursue Medical Nutrition Therapy, which should be interpreted to mean that unless you are a Dietitian, you may not:
What you CAN do: In Ontario, you can work with individuals in Private Practice or group classes, but you may not work in hospitals, as you need to be a dietitian. Also, you CAN:
- Talk to an otherwise healthy client about eating, moving, and living better, including recommendations for which foods to eat;
- Encourage and educate clients as to the eating of specific foods and explain why;
- Develop individualized recipes, and demonstrate food prep skills;
- Recommend evidence-based nutritional supplements that might assist in their healthy lifestyle;
- Educate them about good nutrition in general, and provide them with strategies to improve their eating habits; and
- Share resources and research of your own on food, and nutrition.