A career in the field of nutrition is for people with passion for science and health. Sometimes the Nutritionist Job Description is compared with that of a dietician. While the main role of a nutritionist is to provide advice to clients about health and food choices in order to achieve optimal health, a dietician’s role is to provide dietary treatments to patients to treat for various ailments. Nutritionists usually play a preventive role by providing expert advice on healthy eating habits. The role of a nutritionist will depend on the chosen specialisation field such as Animal Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition, Food Nutrition, sport nutrition or Nutrition science. In general Nutritionists give information and advice to either individuals or groups of people about food and health.
Roles and responsibilities:
• Discuss client’s health and food habits
• Provide information on health, food and nutrition to clients
• Advice clients regarding food habits in order to achieve optimal health
• Advocating importance of nutrition and promoting healthy eating habits
• Research effects of nutrients on human body
• Working as part of a team of health professionals where required
• Gathering statistics for practical nutrition research projects
Key Skills required:
• Excellent people skills
• Understanding of food habits of various cultures
• Ability to inspire and motivate people
• Evaluating and reporting skills
• Organisational skills
• Presentation skills
• Time management skills
Employers: Health departments of local and national governments, Public health organisations, Hospitals, schools and educational institutes, sports associations, food manufacturers and animal feed manufacturers are some of the major industries a nutrition can find employment with. You may also find employment in Food and Nutrition Research institutes.
Career prospects: There is a general increase in awareness of health and health related foods and also more understanding of the role of a nutritionist. There is an increase in the need for nutritionists in developing countries as governments are willing to spend more to increase the awareness of good eating habits among their people. Schools and educational institutes are trying to increase the understanding of good food habits among young children in more economically developed countries, as there is more demand for fast foods in these countries. Food manufacturers also hire nutritionists in order to continually develop better food products.
Qualifications required: An undergraduate degree in Science is required to start your career as a nutritionist. There are also specialisation programs in nutritional science, food technology, dietetics and biochemistry. In some countries you need to be registered by a regulatory authority to practice as a nutritionist. There are also associations such as (ASN) which grants scholarships to students. Student members can have access to ASN’s journals and publications.
The role of a nutritionist is important for a health and wellbeing of any nation and a well-balanced Nutritionist Job description will help you to get a better understanding of this role.
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