Hello and welcome to Our Daily Chews. My name is Lynn Clayton. I am a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. I live in North Carolina with my husband and our two dogs. I worked as a clinical dietitian for a small community hospital for 8 years. My job involved teaching diabetes classes, providing nutrition counseling for a variety of issues including food allergies, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes and obesity as well as working with patients in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. I have experience caring for hospital patients and residents in a long-term care facility. Currently, I work in public health where I still see people for individual nutrition counseling but I also get to be involved with community education.
I began my professional life in the dental field and practiced as a certified dental assistant and registered dental hygienist for twelve years before pursuing a career in nutrition and dietetics. My experience in the dental field taught me that nutrition impacts all parts of the body. Poor nutrition can show up as disease in the mouth such as tooth decay and gum disease or in other parts of the body as high blood pressure, diabetes or even cancer. Although not every disease can trace its origins to poor nutrition, our diet does influence our ability to fight off or heal from disease. After seeing first hand how food choices affected oral health, I decided to go back to school and obtain a degree in nutrition. Now I see on a daily basis how food choices affect people’s health in other ways. Whether it is oral health or overall physical health, I love to help others be their best by choosing health-promoting diets. I hope you learn something from this website that inspires you to be the healthiest you can be.
What is a Registered Dietitian?
To become a registered dietitian (RD), you must complete a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a food and nutrition related field.* All candidates must also complete a supervised practice internship (1,000 hours) before becoming eligible to take the RD exam. After successfully passing the exam, you can call yourself a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN). Most states require licensure so you must acquire and maintain a license to practice in your state. To maintain the credential, all registered dietitians must complete 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years as dictated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). There are additional certifications you can earn if you would like to specialize in an area of dietetics.
*Note: The Commission on Dietetic Registration is moving toward requiring all candidates to have a minimum of a Master’s degree to take the Registered Dietitian exam.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is the professional organization for registered dietitians and membership is voluntary but highly recommended. AND defines dietetics as “the science and art of applying the principles of food and nutrition to health”. This is a growing field with a variety of career options. For more information or to find a qualified dietitian in your area, visit http://www.eatright.org.