Career in Food,Nutrition and dietetics

Introduction::
Dietitians helps the people to promote good health through proper nutrition.Nutritionists and dieticians are professionals, equipped with the knowledge of the chemistry and nutritional value of foods and their preparation. They are the experts who develop new uses of food, advise patients in a clinic regarding their diet, serve as consultants to public health teams, supervise the serving of food in industrial cafeterias or hospitals, assist individuals or groups in dietary education, and teach in nursing schools, colleges and universities. The dietician provides guidance on the development of healthy eating habits. The dietician also undertakes Meal Planning, that is, deciding what foods should be eaten, and in what quantities. Job Dieticians and Dietetic Technicians use nutritional science to promote healthy eating habits. Menu planning, supervision of food preparation, sales, diet therapy, nutrition research, counseling and education are all within the realm of the dietetic professional.
Nature of Work:
Nutritionists and dietitians find opportunities in hospitals, educational institutions, government organisations, international organisations, food industry,other health care companies, hotels etc.They plan and supervise the preparation of meals for patients and confer with physicians and other medical professional about each patient\’s nutritional needs and preferences. They may coordinate diet therapy and nutritional education programs, including teaching patients and their families about specific diets to be followed. They may also instruct groups or individuals about the nutritional care of conditions such as diabetes, ulcers, heart disease, tuberculosis, obesity and pregnancy. Some dieticians make nutritional presentations to medical professionals. She makes use of the knowledge in the science of Food and Nutrition and applies it to planning and feeding of meals to the people concerned according to the physiological and psychological needs at any stage in the life cycle eg. Planning diets during pregnancy, lactation, adolescents etc. Planning of therapeutic diets for patients in relation to diseases e.g. For obesity, diabetes, burns, cancer, renal diets etc.

Management Dieticians plan, coordinate and supervise the planning, purchase and preparation of food for institutions such as hospitals, hotels, armed forces, industrial plants, schools, cafeterias and restaurants. They select, train and supervise staff members, including paraprofessionals.

Dietetic Technicians enforce safety and sanitation standards, and prepare budgets and status reports. It deals with assessment of nutritional status of individuals and communities. Technicians are trained food and nutrition practitioners who work closely with Dieticians. Their primary task is to assist the Dietician in developing nutritional care plan assess dietary needs, and supervise food productions in institutions such as prisons, daycare centers, and schools. In smaller facilities, one person may serve as both Management and Clinical Dietician.

Research Dietitians study nutrition, foods and food service. They seek to answer critical nutrition questions and research alternative foods. They educate patients so that they can apply the principle of nutrition to their daily needs. They may also help develop dietary recommendations.

Community Dieticians mainly work in government or for health agencies. They teach the basic rules of good nutrition and help at-risk groups such as senior citizen feeding programmes, school lunch programmes health departments, and day-care centers. Food technology is widely applied in the food industry, where nutritionists are employed at various levels in the development, manufacture and marketing of food products.

Consultant Dieticians work under contract with health-care facilities or in private practice. They may counsel patients, advise commercial and food enterprises, test new food products and equipment, and develop new recipes and menus for independent foodservice operations. Dieticians in private practice perform nutritional screening and assessments on their own patients or those referred by a physician. Other clients may include athletes, company employees and nursing home residents. They also educate related medical staffs like nurses, medical assistants and dental hygienists on the principles of nutrition.

Eligibilty:
The eligibility criteria are higher secondary or equivalent with nutrition and chemistry/ physics and chemistry/ chemistry and biology. The admission is based on performance at entrance test.
Dieticians must be able to deal with a variety of people, meet emergencies calmly, have good health and stamina, be flexible and communicate well. Other skills which could prove useful are the ability to get on with people, ability to co-ordinate with other consultants, emotional stability, a scientific bent of mind, the ability to empathize with and understand other\’s problems, understanding of human nature/psychology, good motivational skills etc.
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