Staying healthy is quite important for us as human beings, that is why it is recommended that what we eat contains all elements of food required to make our diet balanced.
Having a balanced diet makes you healthy and functional at all times, it also prevents you from being susceptible to diseases and illnesses that might arise from improper diet or malnutrition. The field of Nutrition and Dietetics although similar play different roles in ensuring the safety of food for both individuals and society.
What is Human Nutrition?
Human Nutritionists aim to understand the relationship between food and health, they do so by studying and carrying out experiments to understand how the body responds to different classes of food when taken. They also carry out research on nutrition-related diseases which can be managed by supplying the deficient nutrient which the body requires.
Nutritionists through their work also determine the nutritional values of different types of food, calorie limits for people of different ages, occupations, and also explore novel sources for food. Individuals who work as nutritionists enjoy a life long career in research as new food products that come into the market daily need proper analysis to be carried out for safety assesment.
Becoming a nutritionist depends on what country you are in and the requirements to work as a nutritionist in that country, some require that you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human nutrition while some others allow one to practice with a diploma. Asides from a degree some states require that you become a member of the recognized nutrition society in their country for you to practice.
What Is Dietetics?
Dietetics, on the other hand, is an application of the knowledge gotten from foods and nutrition science. Many of the research work carried out by nutritionists are further implemented by dieticians at the community and individual level.
Dietitians are more involved with using relevant information in planning meals for individuals in different age groups or occupations. In the case of diseased states, they monitor the effect such disease has on the appetite of the patients while also giving recommendations on how to mitigate the effect on the patient’s nutrition.
For you to be regarded as a dietician, you would be required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Dietetics. In your training as a dietician, you would be required to undergo internships with hospitals or relevant organizations for more experience outside the classroom. Upon the completion of your degree, you would write and pass exams that would be coordinated by the Registered Dietetics Council in your country.
Career Opportunities for Nutrition Graduates
As a nutritionist, your area of expertise is required in the following areas:
- Public health nutritionist: as a public health nutritionist you would help to improve the nutritional lifestyle of specific communities or population groups.
- Food product development scientist: you would be involved in improving the safety, flavor, and nutritional value of food products. they also explore food sources that are new and also have nutritional benefits to people.
- Regulatory affairs specialist: this would help you contribute to the regulation of the development and production of food items. You would also come up with regulatory laws with which food processing and production abide by in whatever region or country you work in.
- Food labeling specialist: they are responsible for coming up with the nutritional labels on food products. they also ensure that nutritional facts, ingredients, and food safety warnings are accurate and follow regulations made by the industry.
- Food safety auditor: food safety auditors carry out reviews, analysis and ensure that safety and sanitation procedures at manufacturing companies meet up with the state’s food regulatory procedures. They conduct on-site visitations and conferences to educate workers on safety policies and procedures to practice in companies.
- Freelance writer: you can contribute to the nutritional education of your community by becoming a freelancer or guest blogger on health blogs that promote fitness and wellness
Career Opportunities for Dietetics Graduates
As a dietician, your area of expertise is required in the following areas:
- Corporate wellness consultant: As a dietician, your services are needed in private organizations and businesses to provide guidance on healthy eating and exercise habits which would be beneficial to their well being and helps in managing workplace stress.
- Clinical Dietician: working alongside nurses and doctors to manage patients that are recovering or with terminal illnesses by planning their meals which would aid their recovery process.
- Registered dietician nutritionist: as a registered dietician you would also be able to develop eating plans that can promote long-term health and well-being for your patients. They might also conduct research alongside nutritionists to discover new processes and approaches that can contribute to a speedy recovery of the patient.
- Pediatric dietician: children are part of the population which needs special care and protection, dieticians work alongside food manufacturing industries to develop baby formulas which can fortify their nutritional needs. they can also work with children’s hospitals, community clinics, or private practices.
- Fitness and Sports dietetics: dieticians work with sports and fitness personnel to promote a healthy lifestyle for both sports professionals and the general public.
Dietetics Vs. Human Nutrition Which is Better?
Actually, human nutritionists and dieticians have similar roles in the community. It is just that most times dieticians need to undergo internships and take professional exams to be able to practice in whichever country they want to work in. Nutritionists, on the other hand, are less restricted and can most times work without the need to join a professional body.