Keep Fit, Eat Right

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Career as a nutritionist

Nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They help people choose the right things to eat, help them plan menus, and advise them on the health effects of certain foods. Read on to know more about what this career entails.

We’re a part of a world which has grown so self-conscious about what we eat that when we’re deciding what to order, we first calculate how much fatter it would make us. We’re all opting for the healthiest food out there, right from teens to the oldies. What if you were more than just a person who watched their diet or loved food? What if you were the one who could formulate people’s diets based on their lifestyle and health? If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing, read on about the job of a nutritionist.

What is the role of a nutritionist/dietician?
Their main role of a nutritionist/dietician is to promote the idea of good health through proper eating habits. Hence, they will prepare diet charts, will tell you about exercises, selecting food items, how to build on metabolism and so forth.

What are the different courses you can opt for?
• A student from the Science stream can opt for Home Science, Food Technology or a Nutrition course after his 10+2 years of education.
• You can pursue this course in graduation, a B. Sc in Home Science from any prestigious university.
• If you want to specialize in dietetics and nutrition in post graduation level, you can pursue M.Sc in Food and Nutrition, Food Science and Nutrition, Food Service Management.
• A one year post graduate diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition.

What are the best colleges that offer this course in India?
• Lady Irwin College, Delhi University
• Institute of Home Economics, New Delhi
• Women’s Christian College, Chennai
• Bishop Choolaparambil Memorial College for Women, Kottayam
• SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai
• G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology
• Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University
• Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai

Some of the best universities offering this course abroad are :
• James Madison University, USA
• University of Akron, USA
• University of Sydney, Australia
• Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada

Colleges offering online courses in nutrition:
• Indira Gandhi Open National University
• University of Delhi.
•Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University
•Manipal University

Various roles as a nutritionist:

CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST:
Clinical nutritionists work in medical settings, such as hospitals, doctors offices and clinics. These nutritionists are in charge of providing medical nutrition therapy, a therapeutic method used to treat diseases by specifically tailoring the diet.

• FOOD SERVICE NUTRITIONIST:
Food service nutritionists work in school cafeterias, restaurants and other large-scale food establishments. Routine audits and inspections are done to ensure kitchen staff and managers are in compliance with regulatory standards. Food service nutritionists also give advice for handling special dietary concerns and food allergies.

• SPORTS NUTRITIONIST:
A sports nutritionist works with athletes and coaches to ensure top athletic performance. Individual plans are developed based on each athlete’s nutrient needs. A sports nutritionist also collaborates with athletic trainers to prevent injuries and help recovering athletes.

Pallavi Srivastava1
In conversation with Pallavi Srivastava

who is a Celebrity Fitness Nutritionist and Founder of Q-Slim Fitness Studio.

How important is nutrition education in India and why?
According to the data from the development agencies, India has the highest rate of undernourished children. The lack of knowledge in nutrition comes from the fact that people have always been discouraged from reading and understanding nutrition. It is important that the authorities and agencies focus more on education and making people understand how food we eat affects our health in a major way. If we have to improve the level of people, the health of people, the condition on India at the health level, the education and emphasis on nutrition has to improve. The authorities have to work more on initiating it from the base levels.

Could you tell us a little about what a career in nutrition entails?
Since people are way more conscious with not only their health but also the increasing number of medical conditions hitting them at a very early stage now, number of people opting for a course on nutrition has increased. On becoming a Nutritionist/Dietitian, with a proper degree, encompassing all the knowledge needed, one can practice individually or in a organization helping people lose weight in a healthy manner, helping them balance their daily dose of the nutrients in the correct required amounts, help in controlling medical conditions, they can guide the client on the pros and cons of any specific diet, help them stay motivated and help them achieve their goal.

What would you say were the major challenges you faced?
Understanding that we are not a country where nutrition education and understanding is very popular, there are age old beliefs because of which people are not open to change. The biggest challenge for me was to make people understand how diet or food affects our body. To make them realize that not all the so called bad foods are that bad and all the termed super foods are always good. Moderation is the key. To make my clients realize that not all the diets which appeared online or which showed result for somebody will work for you. It is necessary to keep upgrading the knowledge and working towards creating a better society to live in.

What advice would you give a student aspiring to pursue nutrition as a career?
I would suggest that this course and field is not something which one can pursue or practice half- heartedly or with less knowledge or by just doing a certificate course. It is very necessary that one has a thorough knowledge of the field, understands food, nutrition and body type and various diseases and its complications. Its important to remember that we are serving the society and have a responsibility to hold on us, thus should take it very seriously and should increase the awareness and educate people of what they should eat and not blindly follow what others do.

 

Volume 5 Issue 6

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