Making India healthy: Career as a nutritionist

Aditi Gupta
Aditi Gupta
Posted on 18 Oct 2022
12:09 PM
Representative Image

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Food should be regarded as more than just something to satisfy your hunger, but rather as a means to live a happy, healthy and long life
Nutritionists make meal plans for their clients and educate them on the benefits of a healthy diet

Leading a healthy life is often construed as working out, getting enough sunlight, and avoiding junk food. But less emphasis is given to the food we consume. Having nutritious food helps one build metabolism and lowers the risk of developing diseases. It is also a key factor towards maintaining our physical, emotional, and mental health.

However, there are times when we do give attention to our body but miss out on the proper nutrition which is required. Just as no two people are the same, similarly, our bodies are also unique, and every individual has their requirements. Naturally, having a common meal plan doesn't necessarily suit everyone.

This is where a nutritionist comes in: they make customised meal plans for their clients and educate them on the benefits of a healthy diet.


Career as a nutritionist

Nutritionists strive to improve their patient's quality of life and increase their general well-being by promoting a balanced diet. Many nutritionists practise in their independent clinics privately, while some join a bigger team at hospitals and nursing homes.

They offer advice, curate diet plans based on a patient's health issues, evaluate the cost, and encourage better food habits for their patients. But the next question is…

Why study nutrition?

The aim of taking a nutrition and dietetics course is for the student to get a scientific understanding of the basic sciences and concepts of nutrition and food dietetics. These courses usually cover the impact of clinical nutrition, food science, sports nutrition, and public health nutrition on human health and well-being. This helps them to strengthen their practical knowledge as well as build their skills in critical analysis, entrepreneurship, and communication for career advancement in the field of nutritional sciences.

How should you go about it?

For students wanting to pursue a career as a nutritionist, here is what you can do:

  1. Graduation: Students who want to become nutritionists can enrol in a range of BSc degrees or diploma courses that are offered after completing your +2 studies from a recognised board.
  2. Higher Education: After acquiring expertise in the field of nutrition, an aspirant can go back to get another degree such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition or a Master of Science in Food & Nutrition.
  3. Start a Career: Graduates in nutrition can start their clinics or work for public or private organisations, either after completing their undergraduate or their graduate studies.

When considering courses to pursue, be it at a degree or a diploma level, here are some of the subjects to look out for:

  • Dietetics
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Diet Planning
  • Food Science

Several institutes in India that offer courses in nutrition are:

  • National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad
  • Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi
  • University of Madras
  • Amity University, Noida
  • University of Mysore
  • Guru Nanak Dev University
  • Christian Medical College, Vellore
  • Chandigarh University
  • GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar
  • Bombay University

These colleges offer admission based on both merit and entrance examinations.

After getting a degree in nutrition, one can get a job in the following domains:

  • Clinical nutritionist
  • Paediatric nutritionist
  • Sports nutritionist
  • Consultant nutritionist
  • Public health nutritionist.

Remember, there is always a requirement for nutritionists in hospitals, healthcare institutions, government health organisations, schools, fitness centres, health industrial businesses, and other organisations.

Some of the renowned hotels that employ nutritionists all year round are Le Meridien, Vatika Group, Accor Hospitality, Taj Group of Hotels, and Hyatt Corporation also.

Steps to Develop Your Career in Nutrition:

Nutritionists must have a science background, especially biology at the +2 level.

  1. Make a Decision: Before deciding to become a nutritionist, a person should be aware of their areas of interest. A candidate can use this information to apply to colleges that offer nutrition programmes.
  2. Selecting the Right Subjects: You need to know about the relevant topics starting with your 10+2 to become a nutritionist. Postgraduate students must have a degree in nutrition. Additionally, knowing subjects like food processing and technology, herbs and home remedies, food science, health psychology, life cycle nutrition, and diet therapy will come in handy.
  3. Getting Ready for the Entrance Exam: Students should be aware of the curriculum for the entrance exam. For help with biology, chemistry, and other topics like physics, candidates can refer to the NCERT book as well.
  4. Get accepted to a renowned college: A thorough research of the colleges and the courses they offer can be helpful. Students should keep an eye out for the rankings of the college. Networking and talking to seniors and graduates will give you a deeper insight into the industry.
  5. After Qualifying for the Exam: A candidate will be approached for a group discussion and an individual interview after the qualifying exam. Some colleges provide direct admission based on the results of the entrance examination. You'll receive a call from the college for a post-document verification interview, at which point you'll receive an admissions offer.

Also Read | Top 5 Careers for Foodies: What could you do besides being a chef

Food should be regarded as more than just something to satisfy your hunger, but rather as a means to live a happy, healthy and long life.

Nutritionists have a great opportunity to alter people's perspectives about food and nutrition, ultimately enhancing people's quality of life.

Last updated on 18 Oct 2022
12:09 PM
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