A nutritionist is a specialist in the field of nutrition and food. They advise individuals on what to eat keeping in mind the end goal to lead a healthy lifestyle or accomplish a particular health-related objective. They work in numerous settings, including hospitals, cafeterias, nursing homes, and schools. Some are independently employed in their own practice. All registered dietitians are nutritionist, but not all nutritionists are registered, dieticians.
Nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They help patients choose the right things to eat, help them plan menus, and advise them on the health effects of certain foods.
Educate clients about nutrition and how it helps in living a healthy lifestyle.
Assess patient's current dietary habits and needs.
Formulate proper food menus, taking both cost and clients’ preferences into account.
Follow up to ensure effects of meal plans and change the plans as needed.
Write reports that document a patient’s progress.
Keep up with the latest nutritional science research.
Promote better nutrition by giving talks to groups about diet and nutrition.
To become nutrition the first step is to complete a bachelor’s degree from an approved and accredited program in dietetics, food, and nutrition, food service system management, or a related field. Bachelor’s degree programs can typically be completed in four years. During their training, students may also have to complete an internship, either during their undergraduate program or shortly after graduation.
Licensure and certification requirements differ across the country. Many states require nutritionists to obtain and update special certifications, while others require completion of exams to prove knowledge and skills. Most of the licensing requirement requirements are administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. For example, In order to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), candidates must obtain an advanced degree, complete 1,000 hours of fieldwork, and pass an exam.
Some nutritionists decide to continue their education by completing a master’s or doctorate degree program in nutrition. Although advanced degrees are normally not required to work as a nutritionist, they can prepare students to work as educators and researchers in the nutrition field.
Nutritionists have plenty of options when it comes to places of employment. You can work in many settings, including hospitals, cafeterias, nursing homes, government agencies, and schools. Some are even self-employed.
The Associate of Science degree in nutrition gives students a basic overview of the discipline, as well as hands-on training that prepares them to work in the field. In addition, this degree lays the foundation for students who eventually decide to continue their education with an eye toward becoming licensed.
Students in this program gain a solid foundation of nutrition theory, along with a hands-on look at how it works in practice when dealing with patients. This program also provides an understanding of how to educate a community about the importance of good eating habits, as well as the ever-changing relationship between nutrition and societal factors such as culture and socioeconomic status.
Master’s degree is for those students who want to advance their skills and gain deeper knowledge in a specific area. A master’s degree in nutrition takes about two years of full-time study to complete. These programs are designed for practicing nutritionists and allow students to focus on a specialty area. In many cases, there is also a heavy emphasis on understanding nutrition research.
Nutritionist degree programs at the doctoral level are more focused on research, training students to contribute to the field by conceiving and conducting original nutrition studies. They also emphasize teaching, particularly at the postsecondary level. A doctoral degree can be ideal for professionals who want to become experts and advance in their careers, taking on managerial roles in either the public or private sector.
A nutrition certification course provides students with tools to design an effective nutrition and supplement programs for patients and advise them on diet and exercises legally. Nutrition certificate program covers the fundamentals of the fitness and nutrition field, from creating targeted fitness routines and mastering flexibility training to planning healthy menus and developing effective weight-loss strategies