Career As a Nutritionist

Nutritionist as a career is a highly exciting and satisfying job because a nutritionist prescribes not a list of medicines but just the right food. Read on to know more how you can pursue career as a nutritionist.
| Thursday, September 16, 2010
"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

The awareness among people regarding eating the right food is increasing day-by-day. Balanced nutrition is essential to keep away medical ailments. It is better to live on right food than to survive on medicines. Books and other knowledge tell us a lot about nutrition but it is always ideal take up nutrition therapy under the guidance of an expert. A nutritionist is the one whom one should look for in case of advice on diet management.

Who is a Nutritionist? 

In simple words nutritionist is an expert who suggests a nutritive diet to people to promote health. These are health professionals who guide people for weight loss or gain, diet tips for good health etc. They study the existing diet plan of the patient and make a suggestion on some corrective measures to be implemented in the diet. They then regularly monitor the improvements in the patient’s health based on which they further modify the diet pattern if required. Nutritionists also provide counseling on diet planning to people who wish to improve their eating habits.

Do 'Nutritionist' and 'Dietician' mean the same?

In many countries there is not a clear distinction between the two occupations and are hence considered as the same. Generally a registered dietician’s job title has a higher legal protection and it is also considered as a more specialized job with stringent educational qualifications. A nutritionist can acquire the title with a degree in the field of nutrition, or with just an experience of working in the field of nutrition.

A dietician is authorized to plan meals for patients with conditions like diabetes, cardiac disease, food allergies, gastro-intestinal disorders, etc. which nutritionists are not.

Educational Qualifications Necessary to Become a Nutritionist

Any person who wishes to pursue career as a nutritionist must have either of the following educational qualifications:

  • Diploma or degree in Dietetics and Nutrition
  • A registered course in Food Science
  • Graduate or post graduate in Home Science (the course must be inclusive of food and nutrition as subjects)

In addition to the above, certain personality traits are also essential. The person needs to have a keen interest in the nutrition to take it up as a career. The person may be highly knowledgeable in the field of nutrition, but communicating to the patients in the right way matters more. Hence good communication and writing skills become highly essential. A nutritionist needs to be very patient and should not make hasty decisions for faster results. Last but not the least, a nutritionist needs to be healthy himself or herself!

Career Scope for Nutritionists

If anyone wishes to take up nutritionist as a career, there are many opportunities in the field of nutrition. Mostly, the field of nutritionists is dominated by women.  

  • All over the world a nutritionist would find service in different sectors like: hospitals, hotels, gymnasiums, health clubs etc.
  • Nutritionists can also work as diet advisors in hospitals or medical research laboratories
  • They can practice as lecturers in colleges and universities imparting essential knowledge on nutrition to students.
  • Nutritionists can take up research as a career to develop new food products.

There are many alternatives of career open for a nutritionist of which one can make a choice depending on the interest level.

   
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