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Nutritionist is a professional who provides advice to people on issues relating to food and nutrition, as well as its effects on health. Many fields have specialists, and sports nutrition is one of them. Other disciplines include public health and animal nutrition, to name a few. The term "nutritionist" is often used to refer to someone who has no formal training, education, or professional licence. This is in contrast to a dietitian, who has a university degree, professional licence, and certification to operate as a dietician.

The word nutritionist may apply to a wide variety of people, both trained and untrained - from someone who has no formal credentials in nutrition to someone who has a PhD in the field of nutrition. The discipline of nutrition therapy is a subset of the professional area of nutrition, and it is often linked with practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine. Gillian McKeith, Patrick Holford, and Robert O. Young are just a few of the notable instances. Low levels of training, the selling of supplements and herbal remedies, and the use or promotion of concepts that have not been tested or are potentially harmful, such as the exclusion of food groups, detoxification, and fad diets, are all potential issues with self-proclaimed and media nutritionists.