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Nutrition And Dietetics

INTRODUCTION :

Dieticians or nutritionists help to promote good health through corrective eating habits, thus improving the quality of life. They assist people in planning meals depending upon their age, sickness or work routine, counsel and educate them about healthy eating- selection and preparation of food items according to the principles of nutrition and evaluate and make changes in their clients diet periodically.

Dietitians promote nutritious eating habits through education and research, as well as through overseeing the selection and preparation of food services for many different institutions and groups. They fix nutritional regimens for patients in a hospital, athletes in physical training camps, mountaineers on an expedition and so on. They do research on nutritive value of food which help to understand the various components of food we eat and the right type of food which provides a balanced mix of the essentials like vitamins, minerals etc needed for the human body. They study the digestive process, the various reactions of  food stuffs in the body and find out what is harmful and thus help to prevent diseases through a proper diet program. Some of them specialize in areas such as obesity, pediatrics or diabetes. They form a vital part of the health team.

Organisations involved in food product manufacture use the services of the nutritionist or dietician to plan and research new products. The nutritionists also has excellent prospects in the mass media where top of priority is given to disseminating vital information on healthy living.

They could find employment in hospitals, research labs of food manufacturers, catering departments of star hotels, health departments and recreation clubs, teach the science of nutrition and dietetics in colleges and universities.

ELIGIBILITY / EDUCATION :

People opting for a career in Dietetics and Nutrition should study home science or dietetics and nutrition, food science / technology courses at the graduate and postgraduate levels.

Candidates desiring to seek admission to the course in Bachelor course in Nutrition & Dietetics are required to have a pass in the Higher Secondary Examination or Plus two in science subjects covering physics, chemistry, home science and biology. Besides a B.Sc in Nutrition & Dietetics, other preferable fields of graduation are Home Science, food science and technology, Medicine, Hotel management or Catering Technology. 

The three-year B.Sc. Home science courses covers subjects including food and nutrition. Several universities or colleges offer B.Sc. and M.Sc. Courses in Home science.  Four year Food technology courses after Plus two in the science stream are also available in a few colleges and institutions.

In the post graduation level, Dietetics and nutrition course can be either 2 year Masters programs or 1 year Post Graduate Diploma (Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition (DDPHN).Those with Bachelors degree in food science, home science, hotel management & catering technology, microbiology, biochemistry and medicine are eligible for Post Graduate level Degrees or Diplomas.

The National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad is a premier institute under Indian Council of Medical Research, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Government of India, that offers regular nutrition training courses every year .

Those who take a doctorate degree in the area can aim at a better career in the research /academic fields. The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad offers research facilities for Ph.D. in food technology. Postgraduates in chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, home science, agriculture, horticulture, food technology, food science and nutrition, veterinary science, M.Tech in chemical/ diary/agri/ food technology are eligible for admission. 

JOB PROSPECTS :

Nutritionists and dieticians could find employment in hospitals, health and recreation clubs, canteens,nursing care facilities,teach the science of nutrition and dietetics in colleges and universities, catering departments of star hotels, research labs of food manufacturers, in health departments of government etc. They can also work as consultants or do private practice. Moreover they could find openings in the mass media where top priority is given to disseminating vital information on healthy living.

The main fields in which a dietician or nutritionists can work is in Food service field, Institutional Catering, Health Care field, Research & Development and Social Welfare. Food service field include food Catering service, Restaurants etc where professionals can do menu planning, monitoring the food preparation etc. Institutional Catering is another field where Nutrition and dietetics professionals are needed to plan, supervise and prepare nutritious and well-balanced meals for schools, colleges, factories or office cafeterias etc. 

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