Nutritionists and Dietitians

catherine collins If anyone had any doubt about the differences between Nutritionists and Dietitians Catherine Collins put them straight on Radio 4 recently - 'if your urine is too dark or you are thirsty then drink squash and coffee' she told the Radio 4 listeners

She insinuated her clinics are full of people maimed by incompetent Nutritionists. In our nutritional therapy clinics we regularly see people who feel they have to pay £95 an hour because they have been failed by their NHS GPs and dietitians, left to suffer for up to 20 years with missed obvious clues to their underlying symptom causing conditions.

I guess that's another difference with dietitian Catherine Collins and a good nutritionist , instead of hyperbolic whinging on the radio that all Doctors and dietitians should get some basic nutrition training or be thrown in jail, qualified Nutritional therapists get on with the job of healing people.

The final difference between Nutritionists and dietitians is the most important one. Patients rarely get 'sent' to a nutritionist, they don't have to come, sent by their doctor. Patients choose to come, choose their therapist, choose to pay and choose to follow a nutritionist's advice. Patients usually arrive at our clinics after a personal recommendation from someone who's life we have already transformed.

Yes it is a constant thorn in our side too, that there are some truly awful practitioners out there that call themselves nutritionists. Surprisingly we can't get wait to get regulated (as long as the EU leave us the tools to do the job). However although regulation will weed out some of the Personal Trainers that call themselves nutritionists and a host of other 'Jack of all trade' alternative therapists it won't solve the kind of problems that provoke Collin's vitriolic attacks. GP's are heavily regulated, it doesn't stop them missing things that experienced qualified nutritional therapists regard as blatantly obvious. You can't know everything - that's why you have specialists.

It's great that dietitians are finally regulated and now required to participate in regular professional development but old habits die hard and there are still the odd few that are able to do more harm than good. (Ice cream and custard creams for osteoporosis!!??!!) Frustated by the constraints of dietetics as a therapeutic tool some dietitians have gone on to learn about nutritional therapy and are now some of the most dynamic practitioners out there.

A modicom of common sense maybe useful here. Choose a nutritional therapist who specialises in nutrition, with experience, with insurance, with recognised qualificatons and preferably with a personal recommendation.

Nutritional therapy is performance based. If therapists don't get people well, patients won't come back, they won't tell their friends and they won't pay the money. Chances are they won't be in business for very long.

If you want a dietitian make sure you get a good one

Always go to your Doctor first (it's free!) if they can't help you give us a call!

Tony Bishop-Weston - Nutritionists London Foods for Life


Who put the 'TIT' in dietetics?

(from a letter to the BMA)

For those uncertain of the quality of nutritionists, dietitians have long had an anecdotal way to separate those qualified in nutrition from those not. Avoid the amateur musings of any nutritionist advocating "detox," "superfood" or multiple food group exclusions at first consultation, or who give "candida overgrowth" a viable clinical diagnosis. For those considering major dietary exclusions as a blunt tool to correct symptoms, I suggest they recall the quote by Fran Lebowitz, with whom registered dietitians would concur, that "Food is an important part of a balanced diet."

Catherine Collins, chief dietitian ( I think that's with a capital TIT )

Would that be a blunt tool such as dairy?

"Lactose intolerance is most prevalent within Asian, African, Native American and Mediterranean populations and may affect as many as 70 to 90% of people. In northern and western European populations approximately 10 to 15% of the population is affected". - Arla - A major European dairy distributor

But don't worry - recent research suggests sufferers can have up to 2 cups of milk before they get stomach cramps!
Is she or isn't she?

Oooooh product endorsement? is that allowed?....

"The introduction of a non-dairy option means that the health benefits of probiotics need no longer be off limits to this group of people" said Catherine Collins, Chief Dietician, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at St. George's Hospital in London at the launch of ProViva Shot!

"Whilst lactose intolerance is not as common in Western Europeans as it is in people from South Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Far East communities secondary (temporary) intolerance is. This can affect anyone following an episode of gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or antibiotic therapy," said Catherine Collins "and until now it has proved difficult to give probiotics in sufficient quantity to anyone with profound milk intolerance. Research has clearly indicated that the larger the dose of lactose the greater the level of gastrointestinal upsets so having this new option of a live non dairy probiotic could be helpful." she said.

A paper published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA) a few years ago looked at the effect of loading different amounts of lactose within a drink. Also monitoring the amount of hydrogen produced on the breath, which indicates malabsorption of the sugar (lactose), and abdominal symptoms. "Patients with lactose intolerance may tolerate a small pot of normal bio-yoghurt," said Catherine Collins "but this may be insufficient for clinical benefit. This is where a lactose-free alternative like ProViva SHOT! may well prove very useful."

Oooh I love it when she sounds just like a Nutritionist!
Does she or doesn't she ? from the Daily Mirror

If you really want a supplement Catherine Collins suggests a multivitamin and mineral. "Nutrients work together and multivitamins contain them at a safe dose."

hallelujah! to that.
What a nice Lady!
Catherine Collins has just emailed to remind me of this post

Dietitians - from last year.

Thank you Catherine!
Catherine Collins - OK last one....

'The term "superfoods" is at best meaningless and at worst harmful,' said Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George's Hospital in London. 'There are so many wrong ideas about superfoods that I don't know where best to begin to dismantle the whole concept.'

You wouldn't have thought the term super - foods could be so complicated. It's a common problem in dietetics though - over complicating things.

It's quite easy - use our easy cut and paste nutrition guide.

White Bread = Not a super food
Broccoli = Super Food

Goji Berries = Super Food but unless you buy them from a chinese supermarket under a different name you'll need a fistfull of dollars.
Blackcurrants = Superfood , grow them in your garden because GSK buy all the best ones to make Ribena

Coca-cola= Not a super food
Algae and Seaweed shake = Not nearly as tasty but much better for you. A lot better than no breakfast at all.

Does that make sense to you? are you a nutritionist?
I hope this is the last one. In the interests of improving the Nutrition therapy industry if there is anyone out there who has suffered at the hands of a BANT registered nutritionist who was subsequently cured by a BDA dietitian we'd love to hear from you.

Equally if you have seen a BDA registered dietitian who couldn't help you and were subsequently helped by a nutritionist we'd like to hear from you too!

Here is Catherine Collins latest rant in a press release by the BDA.

Registered Dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association Catherine Collins says: “It is a tragedy that such cases are not isolated incidents but increasing in occurrence and dietitians have to cope with the aftermath of incorrect nutritional advice. A year ago I had a similar patient with hyponatraemic coma caused by incorrect advice given by a self-styled gym nutritionist.

“If one pretended to be a qualified neurosurgeon or dentist and was not, the law would forbid them from practicing but the dietetic profession has to compete with enthusiastic amateurs usually incompetent in clinical nutrition. As a result the public are playing a nutritional Russian roulette with their health."