Q: Where can I get the name of a good local nutritionist?
– Valerie in Chicago
A: People who call themselves nutritionists may or may not have any formal training in nutrition and don’t have any recognized credentials to ensure the information you are getting is accurate. On the other hand, Registered Dietitians (R.D.) have graduated from an accredited university, have completed training, taken a national board exam, and maintain their credentials with frequent continuing education courses. They are your first choice for accurate nutrition information. Contact the American Dietetic Association in Chicago or the local dietetic chapter in your city for a list of practicing dietitians in your area. Just having credentials, however, does not mean you’re assured of up-to-date information. Ask some questions before making an appointment with a dietitian. Does he or she keep updated on the current research by reading several professional journals monthly? What is his/her stance on supplements? Herbs? Low-fat diets? Weight loss? If you need help with an eating disorder, you’ll need to find someone trained specifically to handle the emotional, as well as the food, side to these problems. -Elizabeth Somer