Wonder what a nutritionist or a dietitian does? Or how to become one?

Food Nutrition – An Untapped Industry.

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The science of food and nutrition!

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Are you eating right?

 

In our perpetual chase for fat paychecks, many of us have been ignorant about the bulge around our midsection. Instead, we have focused on the bulge in our wallets. And how have we coped with this? Almost everyone you speak to seems to be a certain type of diet nowadays. However, how many people actually know why they are following a certain diet? Additionally is their diet providing them with all the nutritional and energy requirements their lifestyle and body needs? The Human Physiology is quite complicated. Hence to be the best version of yourself requires a lot more research than that Pinintrest diet plan post you found.

Fact file: India as of late has an ever-increasing non communicable, lifestyle related diseases burden that it faces which are in one way or another interlinked to lifestyles and behaviors at individual and community levels. – Source. 

“I’m trying to eat right and healthy” has become a common-place conversational topic. But what does eating right and healthy mean? Is it the same for everyone? If no two people are the same, then can’t their dietary needs and requirements also change? Most importantly how do we know what works and what doesn’t?

The field of nutrition and dietetics deals with answering precisely these questions.

So what does a Dietitian exactly do?

Apart from delivering comprehensive counseling and evaluating health conditions of a client, Nutritional Consultants often aim at community nutrition services that may include health program preparation, teaching patients food-management techniques, conducting nutritional research and evaluating quality as well as the quantity of purchased food.

They also train program staff as well. This may include training co-workers about nutritional needs, recommendations and food restrictions, technical assistance, reviewing services, and encouraging participation of the people in nutrition education. Nutritional counseling, however, is the main work area for professionals in this field.

In short, the field deals with “The practical application of a scientific understanding of nutrition.”  

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Eating right, a science.

In which environments are Dietitians, nutritionist’s incorporated?

From fields as diverse as athletics and competitive Sports to public/private healthcare, food manufacturing, food technology, consultants/Private practices to education and research.

In fact, the trends are moving towards a more tangible culmination of two different industries such as FMCG sector and Nutrition. With consumers gaining more and more awareness about health and fitness, along with what they consume, it has become a lot more relevant for many sectors to manufacture food products that contribute adversely to our already sedentary lifestyle.

With many professionals chasing their dreams, there is less time allotted to being fit. The miss information or latest fad create unscientific and harmful ways of dealing with weight management issues. So dieticians and certified fitness trainers are more in demand to create a tailor-fit health plan for you to attain your set goals.

There is going to be a lot of localization and personalization approach in the health and wellness space and I think more and more people are realizing that one size fits all doesn’t work for everybody. – Akshay Pai, Founder of Nutrova. 

 

How do you enter the field of nutrition?

As with any other field, there are certain prerequisites and years of education that one would spend studying the field and concerning subjects before they are to receive the title of a ‘dietitian’ or ‘nutritionist’.

However, a destination has many paths, linear as well as parallel. Likewise, there are several ways to becoming a ‘dietician’ or a ‘nutritionist’.

But first what is the difference between the two?

While the two words are often misinterpreted as being similar in reality they’re not so. A ‘nutritionist’ is anyone who advises on matters of food and nutrition’s impact on health. But then what does a dietitian do? In a nut shell, pretty much the same thing. The difference, however, is in the ‘legality’ of the title. While any person may call themselves a nutrition expert even if they are self-taught or have minimal educational qualifications in the concerning field. The title of ‘dietitian’ is professionally regulated and only those who have met specified professional requirements are entitled to it. To become a nutritionist it takes anywhere between 2 – 4 years whereas to become a registered dietitian it could take as long as 5 years.

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Now, there are several ways to become a dietitian or a nutritionist. The linear routes for those who have made up their minds and the parallel routes for the adventurous lot.

After clearing 12th boards in the stream of science, you can opt for an undergraduate course from various universities and colleges specialising in food nutrition and dietetics courses or home sciences. Such as:-

  1. B. Sc / B.A Nutrition: It is a 3-year course focusing on a wide variety of topics, such as human physiology, basics of nutrition, food biotechnology, health, weight loss strategies, human physiology, etc.
  2. BSc Food Technology: It is a 3-year course that focuses on the safe use of food. Here various principles of food science are applied to the selection, preservation, packaging and safe distribution of food.
  3. BSc/ BA Home Science: Home Science is a subject that not only includes Food and Nutrition, but is a broader term that also includes Human Development and Family Resource Management.

However various institutes have varying eligibility requirements hence you could also enter the field if you had opted for a different stream in 12th. It would just take a little college/university hunting. Additionally, there are diplomas and courses that could also be perused online or traditionally as well to gain the required knowledge and know how.

Congratulations you are now a ‘nutritionist.’ However, you could continue your further studies and become field specific such as clinical, sports nutritionist etc. However, to become a dietitian further studies would be required. A few courses are:-

Msc in Food and Nutrition: Post-Graduate programs give you a chance to choose your specialisation from various fields in food and nutrition such as Clinical Heath, Public Health, Food processing etc.

Post Graduate Diploma: Post Graduate diplomas are generally 1-year long, and are extremely comprehensive.

Further studies such as M Phil and PhD can also be done after completing masters. For those who have completed graduation in a different stream. After graduation, you can pursue a diploma in dietetics or sports nutrition or you could take up a fellowship in applied nutrition.

Finally on completion of 6 months of internships from hospitals/clinics recognized by the Indian dietetic association. You may appear for the registered dietitian exam held by the Indian dietetic association. You are now a registered dietitian with the Indian dietetic association. Additionally, several professional associations are available to serve nutritionists, dietitians, and food technologists in India. Nutrition Society of India, Indian Dietetic Association, IAPEN to name a few.

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The importance and requirement of a nutritionist.

Eat your vegetables and don’t play with your food.” Familiar words from frustrated parents to kids across the dining table.

A line all of us would have frequently heard but had never till date followed through. Nutrition plays a very vital role in our well-being and functioning. Hence it is imperative for it to be looked after. After all at the end of the day “You are what you eat”.

The world is in a constant state of flux. And so too are we as people. To arrive at a destination it is important to know where you stand and to remember where you’ve been. Only then can you map where you’d like or are likely to be. We, at Navigus, can and will be able to help you and your child to chart your/their course to a successful and sustainable career. NavigusWhy survive, when you can reign.

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