Sunday, July 9, 2017

Career as a Nutritionist

A career as a nutritionist has become an attractive and lucrative career option, thanks to the keywords 'being fit', 'staying healthy' and 'eating healthy' being a rave of the current scenario. A nutritionist is a person who advises us on what to eat and what not to eat, pertaining to the food and nutrition aspects  and impact on our health. Some of us, who are on the edge of choosing careers always wonder is nutrition and dietitians a good career? Well the answer is yes, given to the tremendous growth and demand for the nutritionist and dietitian. Salary of nutritionists in India and abroad is quite promising too.  Always remember that the career in nutrition and the career in dietitian are two different careers. There is a very thin line between a nutritionist and a dietitian. A nutritionist is related to the areas of food sciences and food research projects whereas a dietitian is focused on planning a perfect diet depending on a individual and his lifestyle. A dietitian also monitors the diet plan of an individual and tailors it as per an individual's needs. Though nutritionist and dietitian are two different fields yet there are times when one may switch on to the other's role for the time being.

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Role of a Nutritionist

A nutritionist plays a key role when it comes to prescribing counteractive food practices which relate to several aspects of each and every individual and his quality of life. Due to the changing food trends pertaining to urban population and food culture, the quality of life is vastly affected; thanks to the fast food emerging out as a culprit. A nutritionist tries to improve our quality of life in today's fast world by educating and introducing us to various food items; that can be easily incorporated in our daily diet, as per the ethics and rules of nutrition. A nutritionist has the basic knowledge about the manufacturing and processing of food, it's nutritional aspects and also the psychological factors that influences the food preferences. With the increase in population and the current demand in healthy lifestyle and food practices, the role of nutritionist is definitely on a big demand.

Four Basic Areas of Specialization for Nutritionist

Clinical Nutritionist

A clinical nutritionist deals mainly with personalized diet plan of an individual with relation to his/her lifestyle diseases such as obesity, osteoporosis, heart diseases etc. Few main factors that lead to such diseases include eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food practices. These are the key areas where a clinical nutritionist plays his role. A clinical nutritionist designs an unique personalized diet plan with respect to the ailment her patient is suffering with.

Public Health Nutritionist

A Public Health Nutritionist focuses on the improvement of public health in general. The key area of Public Health Nutritionist is not a specific individual but public as a whole. They work on the improvement of masses by focusing on issues such as malnutrition in children and come out with successful strategies and health plan. They also work on eradicating food related problems for the whole community or vulnerable groups. A Public Health Nutritionist also works on problems pertaining to adults such as food poisoning due to adulteration, kidney failure and fibrosis.

Sports Nutritionist

A sports nutritionist focuses on the food and diet intake of an athlete. their main area of focus relates to the type and quality of food intake with respect to the proper proportion of nutrients, fats and calories. A diet plan of an athlete or sportsman is entirely different from us. The role of a nutritionist plays vital in lifestyle and food habits of sportsman especially with athletes related to strength sports such as weightlifting, body building and other sports such as running, cycling, swimming etc.

Research Nutritionist

Research Nutritionist are food technicians who research on nutritive value of food which allows to understand the right type of food one should eat and a plan for balanced diet which includes the right amount of components including vitamins, minerals etc which are essentially needed for the body. A research nutritionist also works on key areas which are related to food preservation and food safety.

Eligibility of Being a Nutritionist

One can get a degree in Nutrition after finishing 10 + 2 with science by specializing in subjects like biology and chemistry. Other than that one can also admit to Home Science for a graduation degree for becoming a nutritionist. To start a private practice as a nutritionist, one has to get a 'Registered Dietitian Exam Certificate'. This course is offered in many Foreign Universities. But you have to score well in TOFFEL and GRE whichever is applicable. It is necessary to take the specific set of courses which are drawn by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which can be completed on graduate or even an under-graduate level.

Scope for a Nutritionist

A nutritionist has a great scope when it comes to career opportunities as nutrition career lists is pretty amazing. One can work with government hospitals, school, colleges and government health department. Few nutritionists also work as Public Health Nutritionists for NGO's. Other than that a nutritionist can work for sports clubs, health clubs, gyms etc. A nutritionist can also work in catering department, restaurants, in-flight kitchens etc. If a nutritionist opts for a research career, then they get to work for research institutes, food product manufacturing companies and various other food labs. Teaching the Science of Nutrition is also a career option for the nutritionists if he/she passes the NETT examination. Other than that becoming a private practitioner is also a lucrative career. 

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