How to Become a Nutritionist
The basic job of a nutritionist is to study, interpret and develop a revised
diet for the patients. Besides this, a nutritionist also offers counseling on
the required lifestyle and essential exercises, for a healthy life.
The increased awareness towards the right nutrition has made the job of a
nutritionist a very sought after career option. It has carved a niche amidst
several job opportunities available in food manufacturing, advertising and marketing.
In order to become a Nutritionist, you need to go study through a four-year
nutrition degree, with an accredited college or university. The training enables
students to plan menus, analyze case studies and practice cooking and various
menu-developing skills, in a number of real life situations. The course demands
thorough knowledge of subjects like Biology, Mathematics and Health Studies.
You also need to complete a short pre-nutrition course, to enhance your health
care knowledge. Nutritionists need the specified certification, to practice as
Many states require a license for nutritionists. Therefore, it is essential to
familiarize yourself with the various specifications of the state, before
signing up for a program or a Nutritionist degree. You can also clear the American
Dietetic Association credential exam, to be recognized as a Registered Dietician.
Types of Nutritionists
The major area of work as a nutritionist is included in clinical, community,
consulting and nutrition management.
• Clinical Nutritionists: Clinical nutritionists provide services to patients, by
helping to assess specific nutritional needs. They also consult doctors and
other experienced health professionals and coordinate medical and nutritional
requirements. Many clinical nutritionists specialize in weight management,
nursing care facilities and food management services.
• Community Nutritionists: Community nutritionists counsel people on various
practices designed to avoid health disorders and promote the importance of a
well balanced diet. Their area of work involves developing nutritional plans, by
evaluating individual specific health requirements. Nutritionists who work with
home health agencies offer suggestions on grocery shopping and food preparation
for children and adults.
• Consultant Nutritionists: Consultant nutritionists generally work on a contract
basis with health care facilities or manage their own private practices. Their
area of work involves screening clients and offering advice on diet
specifications, such as weight loss and cholesterol reduction.
Sometimes, their job even involves offering advice on wellness programs,
supermarket do's and don'ts and other nutrition related businesses. In an effort
to provide the proper treatment to their clients, they may also be required to
consult food service managers and offer their expertise in sanitation, budgeting
and food planning and safety procedures.
Management nutritionists: Management nutritionists supervise meal planning and
preparation on a large scale for company cafeterias, schools, health care
facilities and prisons. They generally hire, train and direct other food service
workers, manage budgets for the purchase of food and supplies, enforce safety
and sanitary regulations and prepare reports.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for nutritionists is
on the upswing and is likely to get better.
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six
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