Vast Scope In The Field of Dieticians & Nutritionists
By: Komal Patel, Clinical Nutritionist & founder, The Diet Studio
Komal Patel is a clinical nutritionist, enthusiastic innovator, and founder of the Diet Studio. She has degrees in food science, nutrition & dieteticsand her career path includes being a certified diabetic educator and a sports nutritionist.Her passion and dedication has brought her recognition from around the world, including being an ambassador to FIT India, a brand nutritionist for Almond Board of California, and having been awarded Times health icon 2019 for outstanding performance and My FM leadership award 2020.
Growing prevalence of chronic disorders and rising healthcare costs are making people more conscious about their diet and lifestyle choices. Personalized healthcare is becoming more mainstream as people are realizing thatthere is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition. Hence, there is a greater demand for health and nutritional services since people are seeking guidance to maintain good health and well-being.
Dieticians and nutritionists have a broad understanding of clinical nutrition, food science, sports nutrition, public health nutrition and its influence on human health and well-being. Although both titles are used interchangeably, these professions are different in some respects. A dietician is a healthcare professional that have knowledge concerned with diet and its effect on health while the title “nutritionist” can be applied to anyone who offers general nutritional advice. They commonly work with clients that are suffering from any kind of health condition and require medical attention as well. A registered dietician must have a bachelor’s degree with a course approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. They need to have a supervised experience at an accredited healthcare facility or food service corporation.
Nutritionists are not as regulated as dieticians and they do not need to do any professional training. While nutritionists deal with general nutritional goals and behaviours, dieticians are qualitied to treat specific medical conditions as well.
A student can pursue a B.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics after their 12th and later pursue M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics. Clinical nutrition, public health nutrition, food science and technology, and sports nutrition are the four main specialty areas of nutrition covered by the M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics. There are opportunities to work as a nutritionist in each of these disciplines.After completing thecourse, one can work with medical teams in hospitals, health-maintenance organisations, private/public practises, and other health care facilities to become a registered dietitian (RD). One can also choose to pursue additional research in this area. In India and other nations, there is a huge demand for dietitians.
Career Opportunities as a Nutritionist
Clinical nutritionists stay up to date on the most recent developments in nutrition science and transform that knowledge into an understandable message to aid individuals or even large populations in becoming healthy. They can assist in a range of locations, including health care facilities, schools, and private consultations.
Scope for this field
- A B.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics graduate can work as a dietician in hospitals and as a nutritionist in clinics, medical institutions, and multinational corporations
- Becoming a registered dietitian is a possibility (RD) after this course
- In NGOs and for-profit businesses, graduates can serve as a project assistant, project associate, or chief nutritionist
- Choose career as a weight loss surgery nutritionist
- Become an entrepreneur and create a nutrition clinic, café, or restaurant
Nutritionist in Public Health
Public Health Nutrition is another area of nutrition that focuses on issues that affect the general public's health related to food and nutrition, such as anaemia, vitamin A deficiency, diabetes, and iodine insufficiency. This is the area of study for this field:
Scope for this field
- Graduates may find employment as a project assistant or project associate at PHFI, WHO, UNICEF, or other health organisations
- Work as the head nutritionist for a private or non-profit organisation
- Work as a specialist in regulatory affairs
- Another area to research is nutrition journalism
- Maker of public health policies
- Nutritionist for sustainable foods
As a sports nutritionist, one is required to assist in special dietary needs and recommendations for athletes.
Scope for this field
- At a sports training facility, a gym, or a fitness centre
- Digital sports coach
- Sports Authority of India's certified grain and supplement dietician nutritionist
Other lucrative career opportunities that nutritionists can explore are
- Food Scientist – Work in R&D centres of Industry
- Food Auditor/Food Quality Controller
- Food analyst/Food sensory evaluator
- Research associate within the Food & Beverage industry
- Work as a consultant in FSSAI
- Technical Labelling Analyst
Career Opportunities as a Dietician
Working with people of all ages in groups and on an individual basis is a part of the licenced dietitian's job. People who choose to pursue careers as dietitians work with both healthy and unwell clients. They are responsible for giving health advice, promoting healthy eating, giving guidance on special diets, educating the public and other healthcare professionals about nutrition, identifying and meeting patients' nutritional needs, assisting with dietary changes, and supporting the work of other healthcare professionals. Dietitians need to have good, mature, self-assured personalities that are kind. Interpersonal communication skills and the capacity to work with people from a variety of backgrounds are crucial for a dietician.
Dieticians are the only nutrition professionals who are statutorily controlled and play a crucial role in the healthcare system.
In order to work in a hospital or community environment, dieticians must
- evaluate patients' dietary needs who have a variety of complex medical problems
- Educate and give practical advice on how to improve their health by making the right lifestyle and dietary choices
- create, oversee, evaluate, and enhance nutritional care strategies
- conduct group sessions to patient groups or other healthcare professionals
- ensure patient-centered care is provided by collaborating with the patient and the multidisciplinary team (including other healthcare providers)
- communicate with hospital personnel and outside organisations to enable a smooth transition