Journalist FAQs

When I have a diet or nutrition article to write, my first point of call is always the BDA. I know they have a great selection of registered dietitians and that whoever the Press Office put me in touch with will be an expert and have a deep understanding of diet and nutrition. The BDA is also very quick to put me in touch with people, which is brilliant for a journalist as you are often up against deadlines. 

- Siobhan Harris, Freelance Journalist


Why use us?

  • All our spokespeople are qualified dietitians - the only legally regulated nutrition professionals in the UK.

  • We have nothing to sell, we just want to provide you with evidence-based advice!

  • All our spokespeople are media trained.

  • We have experts on everything from skin health, to weight loss to mental health.

  • We know you are busy, so we work hard to meet the needs and timescales of the journalists we work with. 

  • BDA spokespeople work primarily on a voluntary basis, allowing us to respond to the vast majority of enquiries for FREE. Occasionally, work which requires substantial time and work from our spokespeople may inccur a fee.  

How do I spell ‘dietitian’?

The titles ‘dietitian’ and ‘dietician’ are both recognised in the eyes of the law (as the title is legally protected, unlike any other food/nutrition title). However, in the UK, and the majority of countries around the world, the profession spells the title with a ‘T’ i.e. ‘dietitian’.

Is the title ‘dietitian’ protected by law?

YES. Only those registered with the statutory regulator, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the title of dietitian/registered dietitian (RD).

Please note the titles ‘nutritionist’, ‘nutritional therapist’ and ‘diet expert’ are NOT protected and can be used by anyone regardless of training and/or qualification.

What qualifications do dietitians have?

The minimum requirement is a BSc Hons in Dietetics, or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in Dietetics.

Dietetic courses are structured to include biochemistry, physiology, applied sciences and research methods which underpin nutrition and dietetics. These are complemented by social and behavioural sciences and the theories of communication to support the development of skills required for professional dietetic practice.

All courses require a period of supervised practice including NHS settings, where an individual must demonstrate clinical and professional competence before being eligible to apply for registration.

The BDA is also responsible for designing the curriculum for the profession.

Courses must be approved by the HCPC and demonstrate that graduates meet the Standards of Proficiency for Dietetics.

Who are dietitians regulated and quality assured by?

The HCPC’s role is to protect the public. It is an independent, UK-wide health regulator. It currently sets standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 14 professions. The HCPC keeps a current register of health professionals who meet its standards and takes action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. Registered professionals must keep up-to-date through compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

If an individual is not happy with treatment they are given, or if they are worried about the behaviour or health of a dietitian, they can approach the HCPC who will investigate and take action.

How can I check that a dietitian is registered?

By checking the HCPC online register.

Editors Notes

  • The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 11,000 members. 
  • Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public-health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
  • Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.
  • The BDA Food Fact Sheets are a fantastic resource for many nutrition topics. They have all been written by BDA members and subjected to a full peer-review and regular, timely reviews to ensure they are accurate and up to date. 

How can I get comment from a dietitian?

Our press office is open weekdays 9-5. 

T: 0121 200 8018 E: [email protected]