Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. They advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal. Most dietitians and nutritionists have a bachelor's degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management, clinical nutrition, or a related area. Programs include courses in nutrition, psychology, chemistry, and biology. There are many paths a career in nutrition:-
Clinical nutritionists typically work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics, private practices and other environments where residents or patients are in need of medical nutrition counseling. They may provide guidance on nutrition principles and dietary needs as well as prepare meal plans specific to a patient's health needs. Some clinical nutritionists may focus on patients with specific dietary needs, such as those with diabetes.
Food and Nutrition/Dietetics Manager
Individuals with a degree in Nutrition, Dietetics, or Food Service Administration can find employment within the food service industry as a Food and Nutrition Manager. Experience working in food service or additional training may be necessary to meet the qualification requirements for this position. For more inforamtion visit the Canadian Society for Nutrition Management (CSNM).
A community nutritionist may work for the government, non-profit organization or public health clinics. They create and implement programs designed to educate the public about food and nutrition. Community nutritionists may also speak to groups or teach classes to promote wellness, encourage good eating habits and ways to manage or prevent specific diseases. They may also advise the public on nutrition services available to them.
Individuals who work as management dietitians are responsible for meal planning in large settings, such as schools, hospitals, prisons or hospitals. Besides creating healthy menus, they may be responsible for administrative and management tasks, such as purchasing food and supplies, preparing budgets and overseeing the kitchen staff.
Academia, Research and Lecturing
After completing a degree in nutrition or dietetics, nutritionists may choose to pursue further study, by completing a master's degree or a PhD which will involve research into a particular aspect of nutrition. To get a research training post that leads to a higher research degree (MPhil/ PhD), in a specialist institute or university, you first need a good BSc (first class or 2:1) or a good MSc. You will need postdoctoral experience to go into an academic research career. Research can involve laboratory type experiments, for example examining absorption or metabolism of nutrients, or could be of a more social/behavioural context, examining eating habits or the effects of a particular nutritional intervention.
Teaching can be done in schools or universities. In a scientific, nutrition related field it can be teaching science/food technology/home economics in schools or lecturing in nutrition at a university.
Sports and Exercise Nutrition
Sport and exercise nutritionists can promote nutrition by working in a sport, fitness and health, and recreational industries e.g. as a personal trainer. Nutritionists can also work with athletes to promote sports performance. To work with elite athletes, a degree in Nutrition or Sports Science is essential.
Animal nutrition can involve the care of pets and working animals through their diet. It can also involve the study of the animals as human food, where their diet impacts on the yield of the animal, e.g. milk or egg production, or quantity and quality of meat. You could specialise your work within this sector and could work as a consultant, in research and development, or in feed manufacture. Animal nutrition can either be studied as part of the training to become a vet, or as part of a BSc in Animal Science.
Development and international public health nutrition
Nutritionists with appropriate qualifications and, preferably, experience abroad can work in emergency relief or development projects in low-income countries. NutritionWorks offers training, and holds a web-based register for International Nutritionists and Food Security Specialists. The register helps individuals seek jobs and agencies who want to recruit.