- What to Study to Become a Nutritionist
- Becoming a CCN
- Becoming an RD
- Becoming a Naturopath
- Notes on a CN Program
- Comments from Kaayla Daniel
Q. What Should I Study To Become A Nutritionist?
A. I am on the Board of Directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation and received my PhD last year in Nutritional Sciences. Although I do not know of any accredited school that includes Weston Price’s teachings in its curriculum, there are some accredited institutions with faculty members who allow — and even encourage — students to think for themselves and to identify research that challenges the establishment views of the ADA and AMA. For example, I received my PhD from the Union Institute and wrote a dissertation on the problems with soyfoods, a dissertation that I recently published as The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food.
Personally, I found all of my coursework valuable and that many of the standard textbooks provide evidence supporting the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation You will need that evidence if you are to work effectively with clients and their physicians. You also need to know the ADA/AMA point of view in order to effectively argue with it. Finally, I highly recommend that you supplement the required readings with books by Weston Price, Sally Fallon, Mary Enig and others.
If you wish to study nutrition at either the Bachelor or Masters level, you might want to consider the University of Bridgeport, CT (which is an on-line Masters Program). We recommend schools that have regional accreditation rather than national. In terms of core classes in anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathophysiology, etc., I would recommend that you attend classes at your local community college or other standard accredited universities. You should get as much science as you can. –Response by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story
Check into getting a CCN by looking at the website www.iaacn.org.
You can also receive certification through the Nutritional Therapy Association. They offer distance learning courses to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) or Nutritional Therapy Consultant (NTC). The program is based on principles that are WAPF friendly. Please refer to their website, www.nutritionaltherapy.com for more information
Q. What is a CCN?
A. I don’t believe the CCN program at the Natural Healing Institute in California is legitimate and heard rumors at the CCN convention in Orlando last week that the IACCN board may take legal action against them for misuse of the CCN initials. To be a true CCN, you need to complete a number of courses at accredited colleges (nutrition, anatomy & physiology, biology, organic chemistry, etc.), apply for CCN candidacy, then take their postgraduate seminars (which are given periodically as intensive weekend seminars at four locations around the country), and complete the study of a number of manuals and tape sets, and, finally, take a challenging three hour exam. No college or school offers a CCN program. I would recommend that you call or email the IAACN in Dallas for details. Their website is www.iaacn.org. –Response by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story
Q. Do you recommend becoming an RD?
A. Yes! We need well-informed counselors in the ranks of the RDs. Be aware, however, that the Registered Dietician program may require a one-year internship in a hospital. –Response by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story
Q. What naturopathic options do you recommend?
A. There are 3 options: Bastyr University in Seattle is the most famous, the other two are National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Phoenix. I would highly recommend that you choose an accredited school because more and more states are requiring that nutritionists and other health practitioners be licensed. –Response by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story
Bastyr University not only offers a Naturopathic program but they offer a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and a Masters in Nutrition. See:
Bridgeport University also offers several nutrition Masters programs. See:
A Member’s Comments about a CN Program
I became a Certified Nutritionist through American Health Science University (ahsu.edu). I have been a CN for many years now and the program has improved quite a bit since then and was good when I did it. I do recommend the program. It gives a good foundation, is professional, and is respected.
Each state has different licensing. New Hampshire does not license nutritionists (which by the way, is the way we have wanted it) but does license dietitians. We have fought against licensing bills for many years. The dietitians wanted to drive out competition and looked for third party reimbursement. Finally we all worked together on a bill that was only for dietitians leaving the rest of us alone. It may be at some point that we (NH nutritionists) might want to do something different, but right now this is where we stand. AHSU could probably tell you where your state stands.
Our professional organization, NANP (nanp.org), is working towards registration, with a qualifying exam. AHSU does have a “private federal license” which impressed the NH legislators when I testified. They are recognized by the Department of Education as nationally accredited (not regionally).
I highly recommend it as it will give you and others more credibility. You take the basic knowledge and then apply your area of interest (WAPF).
Further comments on nutrition studies by Kaayla Daniel.
I think it especially important not to get a “diploma mill” degree from Clayton or other of the correspondence schools that are open to more alternative points of views. Although many people enjoy the coursework, the degrees are not respected and not valid for licensure in most states. Note that many of these colleges claim to be accredited, but have actually been accredited by one of the new national accrediting agencies that have sprung up. Make sure the school you pick is accredited by a board recognized by the Department of Education. See also extensive article on studying nutrition.