Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society | Who is a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
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Who is a Dietitian and Nutritionist?

PNDS recognizes that the differentiation between nutrition and dietetics is not universal. In Pakistan all dietitians are nutritionists however nutritionists without a dietetics qualification/training cannot take on the expert role of a dietitian. Below are official definitions for the profession of dietetics and dietitians.

Nutrition and Dietetic Professionals

A dietitian/nutritionist is a professional who applies the science of food and nutrition to promote health, prevent and treat disease to optimize the health of individuals, groups, communities and populations.”

The minimum level of education of a dietitian/nutritionist is a bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics and a period of supervised professional practice of at least 500 hours and meets the International competency standards*

*Domains of Competence/International Competency Standards: by International Confederation of Dietetic Association(ICDA)

  1. Dietetic process and professional reasoning
  2. EBP and application of research
  3. Quality assurance of dietetics practice
  4. Professional relationships, communication and partnerships
  5. Knowledge essential for the practice of dietetics

Click here for the complete report by ICDA on International-Competency-Standards-for-Dietitian-Nutritionists

Click here for  International-Standards-Definition-Dietitian-Nutriitionist-and-International-Education-Standard


A person with qualifications (MSC, MS /BS) & advanced training in nutrition and dietetics from the universities* Recognized by PNDS

The dietitian applies the science of nutrition to the feeding and education of groups of people and individuals in health and disease. Dietitians are health professionals who study and apply the principals of nutrition food management. The scope of dietetic practice is such that dietitians may work in a variety of settings and have a variety of work functions like supervise preparation and service of food, develop modified diets, enteral & parenteral nutrition, participate in research, and educate individuals and groups on good nutritional habits.


A person with basic qualifications (BSC /BS) and training in nutrition & dietetics (from the *universities recognized by PNDS), who works in a variety of settings supervised by a qualified nutritionist/Dietitian.

Role of Dietitian

  • Supervise personnel who work in cafeteria and serve food to the patients whether food is served in accordance with the instructions.
  • Keeping   an eye on personnel hygiene / food handling   practices of the workers at cafeteria.
  • Responsible for performing random patient meal checks at ward level at different meal times. And on tray line while assembling meals to ensure that food is served in proper order quality and condition/ disease.
  • Check/ receive complaints related to patient meal /food services and diet and communicate to the concerned people, and take appropriate measures within the scope of her duties.
  • Assists the dietitian / diet consultant in ward rounds and implement necessary changes (observed during rounds) in patient’s menus and communicate to the personnel at food services.
  • Assist the dietitian in all routine work, educational /research activities carried out within the hospital.
  • Teach basic nutrition courses to Aid nurses/ Nursing assistance etc
  • Observe patient food intake and report progress and dietary problems to dietician.
  • Plan menus and diets, guide patients and families in food selection, preparation and menu planning based upon nutritional needs and established guidelines under supervision of dietitian.
  • Obtain and evaluate dietary histories of individuals to plan nutritional programs under supervision of dietitian.


A person with a post graduate degree (MSc/BS/MS, PhD) in nutrition. The function of a nutritionist is to elicit, integrate, disseminate and apply scientific knowledge drawn from the relevant sciences, to promote an understanding of the effects of nutrition, and to enhance the impact of food on health and well-being of people.

Role of a Nutritionist


  • Counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to promote health and prevent disease.
  • Teach nutrition to those training to be nutritionists or dietitians as well as other health professionals
  • Work with media to educate the public regarding the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention
  • Conduct basic or applied nutrition research as the primary investigator or as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Work with the government in developing policies related to nutrition
  • Work with the food industry to develop nutritionally sound products and advertisements for their products.

NUTRITION WORKER is a person with an undergraduate degree with training in nutrition. A Nutrition worker may do the following tasks under the guidance of a nutritionist. May work as a data collector/editor in research projects



  • Provide basic nutrition education to mothers in the community regarding maternal and child nutrition.
  • Assess nutritional status of persons using anthropometry.
  • Obtain dietary information from persons using methods devised by the nutritionist.


  • Dietetics education minimum is a bachelor degree (BS/MSc(4 Years) from a recognized educational institution.
  • Dietetics education includes a practicum program.
  • Dietitian complete their professional education in another country
  • 5 education institutions in Pakistan offer a recognized dietetics education program leading to professional qualification

Click here for International competency standard of education for Dietitian/Nutritionist by ICDA