In today's lifestyle when health related problems like obesity, blood pressure are so prevalent, a course in nutrition and dietetics can offer you an exciting career opportunity.Diet plays a major role in promotion of health and well being of a human being. This field has gained importance as people have become more conscious about the way they look, what they eat. Quality of life depends on the quality of food we eat. Dieticians or nutritionists help to promote good health by correcting the eating habits
If you are aiming to become a professional in this field then you should have an inborn interest in cooking and exploring various cuisines. Nutrition and dietetics is one subject which will help you explore how to design controlled diets. As a dietician you will be assisting people in planning their meals depending upon their age, sickness or work routine, occupational constraints, fitness and stress levels. To be successful in his field you should possess excellent communication skills, interest in food preparation and good analytical skills.
Dieticians should ensure that their clients should eat depending upon the nutritional requirements and needs. Dietician can help a person with health problems, such as health disease or diabetes, by assessing individual needs and creating a food plan that helps alleviate health problems.
Dieticians guide on healthy eating habits and make a personalized food plan that meets the patient’s dietary restrictions, occupational constraints, fitness and stress levels.The nutritionist, on the other hand, studies the effect of food on human and the effect of heat, storage and other environmental factors on food (when it is cooked/served).
If you enjoy working with people, you can choose a dietician’s job. There are lot of opportunities in Hospital, nursing home or special clinic where you will chart out individual diet plans for the patients.If you want to opt for a career in nutrition and dietetics, you have to complete your 10+2 in science with physics, chemistry, home science and biology as your main subjects.
Besides a B.Sc in Nutrition & Dietetics, other preferable fields of graduation are Home Science, food science and technology, hotel management or catering Technology. Several universities or colleges offer B.Sc. and M.Sc. Courses in Home science.You can also pursue a one year diploma from any popular institute.
Those who want to pursue a doctorate degree in the area can aim at a better career in the research /academic fields.
Nutrition and Dietetics is a growing field and the opportunities are endless. As a professional in this field, you can open your own clinic; work with government sector, health departments, beauty salons, sports and fitness clubs. There are various Specialized Areas in Dietetics, like Clinical Dieticians, Community Dieticians, Management Dieticians and Consultant Dieticians. Clinical Dieticians assess patient nutrition, develop dietary plans, provide patient counselling, and monitor patient's progress. Community Dieticians work in public health agencies and counsel people on food choices and direct programmes in nutrition awareness and disease prevention. Management Dieticians specialize in food service systems and conduct employee training programmes, design food systems, and plan budgets. Consultant Dieticians are independent business people who work as nursing home consultants, book authors, and patient counsellors in medical centres.
Good communication skills are very essential for this profile as you’ll have to convince and motivate your clients.Employment opportunities are also good when it comes to teaching, research and development sector. Dietetics and Nutrition is a remunerative job. Depending upon your profile and experience, you can get good salary along with attractive perks.
Research is yet another option you could consider. International organisations like the UN, UNICEF and WHO as well as those that come under the ministry of Human Resource Development also employ these professionals. The options are limitless as some of the leading newspapers have specially dedicated column where people seek help with focus on healthy and balanced eating. Even all TV channels run popular health programmes which feature knowledgeable experts to discuss health issues and answer viewers’ queries. Big hotel chains also appoint dieticians to plan out meals for guests who have specific health problems in consultation with the chef. You can also work with NGOs and government agencies involved in educating specific segments of the population or in monitoring food and health programmes.
The dieticians job can be quite varied and interesting. So what if milk is a no-no for someone and someone has a wheat allergy, the job is to substitute in such a way that the client doesn't feel deprived or malnourished. On the flip side, the only factor that can be called a ‘con’, if at all, is the time it takes for results to start showing up.
A number of universities offer a 3-yr BSc/BA in Nutrition/Dietetics. These subjects can also opt for a post-graduate specialization both at the degree (Masters in Home Science/Applied Nutrition) as well as post-graduate diploma level.
1. All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health
110 Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700073
2. Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women
Mettupalayam Road, Bharathi Park Road
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu- 641043
3. Guru Nanak Dev University
Grand Trunk Road, Off NH 1
Amritsar, Punjab- 143005
4.National Institute of Nutrition
Jamia Osmania, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh- 500007
5. Osmania University
Shivam Road, Prashanti Nagar, Nallakunta
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh- 500007
Contact: 040- 27098043
6. SNDT Women's University
Vithaldas Thackersey Marg
Mumbai, Maharashtra- 400020
7. University of Agricultural Sciences
Chikka Bommasandra Bangalore
8. Daulat Ram College
4, Guru Tegh Bahadur Road
New Delhi- 110007
9. University of Madras
University Building, Chepauk Campus
Triplicane Chennai, Tamil Nadu- 600005
10. University of Mumbai
CST Road Mumbai
Note: This information is being summarised from the information provided by institutes offering those courses.