What’s in a Name? And Why It’s Important When It Comes to What You Eat


We’ve all heard the old adage, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But have you ever questioned its meaning? It was written by William Shakespeare and is spoken by the character Juliet in the tragic romance Romeo and Juliet. The line implies that the name of someone does not matter. What matters is the person.

But is that really true when it comes to expert advice? When it comes to healthy eating, it’s easy to get confused and get the wrong advice from well-meaning people. It’s much better to seek the guidance of a regulated health professional who is qualified to give you nutrition advice and information.

Names are important when it comes to what you eat. When young Juliet asks, “What’s in a name?”, the answer should be “everything!”

Dietetics and Dietitians

We all know healthy eating is important to our well-being. The food we eat affects every aspect of our lives, from digestive issues to heart health. The science of how food and nutrition affect human health is called dietetics. Its regulated practitioners in Ontario are called dietitians.

Dietetics is the only regulated nutrition profession in the province of Ontario. Dietitians must be registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario and they are held accountable to high practice standards for safe nutrition care.

The College of Dietitians of Ontario regulates dietitians in the public interest so that the public can have access to safe, ethical and competent dietetic services.

It registers only qualified individuals who have met rigorous registration standards to practise as dietitians in Ontario. Only registrants of the College are legally allowed to use and hold the title of Registered Dietitian and have the initials RD after their name (or the French equivalent, diététiste professionel(le) and Dt.P.).

What’s in a name? Check the Register of Dietitians

The College has a list of all dietitians who practise in Ontario. This list is called the Register of Dietitians and is available to the public on our website. You can check the Register to find out if someone can practise as a dietitian in Ontario.

To access the Register, go to the College website at www.collegeofdietitians.org and click on the Register of Dietitians – Find a Dietitian.

The Register of Dietitians holds reliable and up-to-date information about a dietitian. This includes the dietitian’s:

• Current Registration status;

• Workplace;

• Contact Information;

• Languages of practice; and

• Discipline history, if any.

The College makes sure dietitians are qualified and stay qualified by setting and enforcing standards for safe, ethical and quality nutrition services from dietitians in Ontario. Watch How The College of Dietitians of Ontario works for you for more information.

Juliet seeks advice from a Registered Dietitian

So, what’s in a name?

Imagine that (spoiler alert!), Juliet had lived to become a Zoomer. Maybe she has high blood pressure. Perhaps she has digestive concerns.

She is looking for advice on whether she should change what she eats. So she turns to a Registered Dietitian, because she knows that dietetics is a regulated profession, and dietitians meet rigorous registration standards. And she checks the Register of Dietitians to verify her dietitian’s name and title.

Through the advice of her Registered Dietitian, Juliet lowers her blood pressure, can better manage her digestive issues, and has a sense of well-being about the future.