Nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They can help patients choose the right things to eat, help them plan menus, and advise them on the health effects of certain foods. Nutritionists assess a patient’s current dietary habits and needs, educate them on healthy eating habits, follow up to ensure the menus are working, and write reports that document a patient’s progress. They might also speak to groups, such as schools or businesses, about good nutrition and preventing health problems through proper foods. Nutritionists frequently work closely with individuals who have medical issues, such as those with diabetes or those undergoing chemotherapy, to help them find the right foods to eat for their best possible health.
Nutrition Degree Course Path
The course work for nutritionist and dietitian degrees is very similar. Both degrees encompass the study of food composition and nutrition as well as how nutrition relates to the human body. Dietitian programs go a step further than most nutrition programs by combining this knowledge with community nutrition, nutrition counseling and food preparation and distribution. Typical classes for both include anatomy, medical nutrition therapy, exercise physiology and nutrition, chemistry and biology.
Most Common Nutrition Degree
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum required to become a dietitian in most states. A bachelor’s degree is not necessary to be a licensed nutritionist, but it is recommended. Some states grant nutritionist licenses with minimal educational requirements. Both nutritionists and dietitians can pursue advanced degrees beyond the bachelor’s level.