Meet Nutrassess' Owner

Charmagne Kim Oriahi, M.S., R.D., L.D.

Registered Dietitian: March 2008- Commission on Dietetic Registration
Licensed Dietitian: May 2008- Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians
Weight Management Certified: June 2009- Commission on Dietetic Registration
Master of Science: Human Sciences- May 2007- Stephen F. Austin State University
Bachelor of Science: Food, Nutrition & Dietetics- December 2004- University of Houston
Special Nutrition Interests: Vegetarianism, Weight Management, Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition
Personal Interests: Performance Arts & Travel


Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between a nutritionist and a registered dietitian?

Why do I need a registered dietitian?

Does Nutrassess accept insurance for consultations?

How will being a member of Nutrassess online benefit me?
















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What is the difference between a nutritionist and a registered dietitian?

Registered dietitians are defined by the American Dietetic Association as being food and nutrition experts who possess the expertise, training and credentials vital for providing accurate nutrition information.

The term nutritionist is not professionally defined, allowing anyone to call himself by that title. A nutritionist, however, is commonly defined as a person who advises people on dietary matters relating to health and wellness.

Dietitians must meet specific criteria to earn the registered-dietitian credential, beginning with the completion of a minimum of a bachelor's degree at an accredited university or college with course work approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education for the American Dietetic Association. Undergraduate programs include a variety of subjects from food and nutrition sciences, food-service systems management, business, economics, computer science, culinary arts, psychology and communication to science courses such as biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, anatomy and even organic chemistry with a lab.

Upon graduation, one then must complete a CADE-accredited supervised program or internship involving extensive practice in the field of nutrition that typically runs six to 12 months in length. MUSC offers one of the more than 250 accredited internship programs in the country by taking eight interns per year via a formal matching process, much like that performed for medical residency placement.

The matching process is extremely competitive, as MUSC historically has received more than 80 applications per year vying for these spots. Only after this requirement is successfully completed can the intern qualify to sit for the national registered dietitian examination. In fact, MUSC's intern graduates have a higher than 95 percent first-time pass rate for this exam. Once this credential is obtained, one must continue to earn professional educational credits to maintain registration.
Some R.D.s also have additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These certifications may include pediatric or renal nutrition, nutrition support and diabetes education. Often times, R.D.s eventually go on to earn a master's or doctorate degree. Most of MUSC's R.D.s have these additional certifications and/or advanced degrees. Furthermore, MUSC's dietitians lecture to medical students, present at national meetings, conduct their own research and author peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, etc.

This extensive and specialized training allows an R.D. to work in a variety of employment settings that include, but are not limited to, health care, business and industry, community and public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice.

So if dietitians are the "food and nutrition experts," what exactly is a nutritionist and what qualifications must one fulfill? There is no legal definition for the term nutritionist and no minimum qualifications. Self-identified nutritionists may have varying levels of education and may not have received the same specialized, formally accredited education and training as a registered dietitian.

Until the term "dietitian" is more universally understood, you may commonly hear dietitians refer to themselves as "nutritionists" because the public is more likely to recognize the term. Nonetheless, the credential to look for is "registered dietitian" when seeking nutritional advice.

So when you need food and nutrition information based on fact, or need to know how a healthy diet can improve health and fight disease, rely on qualified professionals in the field.

By Amanda Behring

Special to the Post and Courier
Monday, April 14, 2008

[Return to FAQ Questions]

Why do I need a registered dietitian?

A registered dietitian is your source of sound food and nutrition advice with extensive training in normal nutrition, clinical, foodservice management, community, education, and research.  You may want a registered dietitian to assess your nutritional needs to prevent disease and for healthy lifestyle or need medical nutrition therapy to help manage an existing disease.  Maybe you would like your food and nutrition professional to share expertise in managing a foodservice organization or provide services to the community through a government agency.  Some people may need a registered dietitian to teach classes from kindergarteners to people in an institution of higher learning or perhaps you are in need of a food and nutrition expert to take part in a research study.  Everyone can utilize the services that a registered dietitian provides.

[Return to FAQ Questions]

Does Nutrassess accept insurance for consultations?

Nutrassess will provide all clients with a super bill and/or receipt upon receiving payment for services.  Every insurance company varies in the extent of coverage for a dietitian.  As of now, clients would have to contact their insurance companies to find out if they will cover for medical nutrition therapy.  Also, there are corporate programs that may be able to reimburse or pay for nutrition therapy.  Ask you employer if you are eligible to receive wellness benefits.

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How will being a member of Nutrassess online benefit me?

Nutrassess online is free to all and will benefit you by keeping up to date on the latest news in the world of dietetics.  It will also be a place for clients to access their files and nutrition education materials specific to their needs.  If you are not currently a client, you may still benefit by interacting with others by taking advantage of our normal nutrition education materials, using the Say Anything commentary where you may share recipes, nutrition advice or just ask registered dietitians general food and nutrition related questions.

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