The role of a nutritionist or dietitian is to develop programs related to food and nutrition and in accordance to the individual’s needs and special requirements. The main job of a nutritionist is to cure various types of diseases by ensuring that the patient eats healthy and nutritious food and avoids those kinds of food items which can cause harm to his body. The nutritionist either modifies the existing diet or makes a completely new diet plan according to the patient’s requirements.
The service of a nutritionist or other people related to this field may be utilized in hospitals, schools, fitness centers and huge organizations to name a few. In schools, information on good eating habits is promoted through education and special sessions on nutrition. To enter the world of nutrition, you must possess a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition, food services systems management, dietetics or in associated fields. Having a major in nutrition, biochemistry, biology, physiology, microbiology, or institution management will be of great help.
There are different types of career opportunities in the world of nutrition and depending on your educational qualification and job excellence; you can choose the career which suits you best. The field of nutrition is such that no matter which option you choose, you should be ready to work in a dedicated manner and have a thorough knowledge of what you are doing.
Career Opportunities In Nutrition
People who opt for a career in clinical dietetics are known as registered dietitian. Such a person is most likely to get employment in a nursing home, hospital, medical center or under physicians practicing individually or in a group.
A registered dietitian is responsible for performing nutrition therapies for the patient which will help to treat the disease he is suffering from. He may have to supervise many patients at a given point of time. Counseling the patient and keeping a check of his progress are also a part of a clinical dietitian’s job. If you are thinking of pursuing a career in clinical dietetics, you will be required to specialize in pediatric nutrition, critical care nutritional help or renal medical nutrition therapy.
Community or Public Dietetics
There a number of options available for a community or public dietitian to work in. You could work as a public health nutritionist or a registered dietitian. You could also work in a health or fitness club, an organization which works towards the betterment of individuals or a government agency concerned with people’s health. You may be required to possess a license in some institutions.
Your job profile would include developing and promoting nutrition programs and educate the mass about it, develop such programs which would help prevents severe diseases from occurring, assist in various meal programs where the old and needy are provided with nutritious food items and also conduct such programs on their own.
Food Service Management
A manager working in the food services department helps the selection and purchase of all the food items. He then supervises the whole procedure in which it is prepared and served to individuals in hospitals, cafes, fine dining, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation centers and hostels. However, it is not necessary that a food service manager is a registered dietitian except when he is working in a hospital or a nursing home.
The entire food planning is done by the food service manager and he is solely responsible for any kind of problem that may occur in the food being served to the people. If it unhygienic, tasteless, partially cooked, over cooked or served in an improper manner, the manager has to account for it all.
Many registered dietitians work in the comfort of their own office, where they provide outpatient counseling to patients that they get with the reference from doctors. These dietitians may or may not have a postgraduate degree. They either specialize in one aspect of nutrition or cater to a number of clients who need different types of services. They may also act as advisors to huge food companies and restaurants and evaluate their production systems.
Such dietitians may be involved in simple programs like helping clients to lose weight and maintain it with the help of proper nutrition or serious tasks of controlling a patient’s diabetic level or easing his hypertension. Often, professionals like actors or sports people hire such nutritionists to help them tone down their body and to become physically fit.
Research and Teaching
Many nutritionists who possess a doctoral or master’s degree in this field opt for helping various types of agencies and organizations to hold research and development programs for the betterment of their clients. These programs may also be held at medical centers or renowned hospitals. The research done by them includes various experiments on animals and dealing with human subjects mainly.
Such individuals also explore the option of teaching in universities and colleges so that they can teach young individuals aspiring to become nutritionists in the future. Another scope for such individuals is found in the food industry where huge companies and organizations need to develop different kind of food products and need them to conduct the related research.
Public Relations and Marketing
Many food companies, restaurant chains and groups look for individuals who can handle their public relations and marketing sections effectively. Such individuals are responsible for ensuring that all types of promotional activities are held for the benefit of the company and the matter which gets printed in all forms of advertisement is correct and apt. They also make reports and presentations and keep records of the ongoing campaigns.
Other basic opportunities include writing nutrition columns for various magazines and working with non-profit organizations which promote good health through adequate nutrition amongst the masses. The world of nutrition is very vast in nature and an individual with proper education and strong background can choose from all these options and much more. However, this is a job that requires huge responsibility as food is a basic necessity of life and as we all know a man is what he eats.