After the advent of technology, the food habits and the life style of the people across the world have changed. Lot of new diseases are affecting the people due to the poor intake of food and improper diet. To improve the quality of life, one should follow a balanced diet. To prescribe a balanced diet and to promote a healthy life, dietitians and nutritionists plays a major role. Dietetics is purely associated with food management and the dietitians regulate the diet of a patient or a client based on their nutritional needs. Both the dietitians and the nutritionists perform the same tasks. In India to become a professional dietitian, one must possess a license issued by Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), an authoritative body that provides membership and license to practice as a dietitian in India. No license is required to practice as a professional nutritionist in India.
Job profile of Nutritionists and Dietitians
As mentioned earlier, both the nutritionists and the dietitians perform similar tasks in health care. Some of the tasks of the nutritionists and dietitians are mentioned below
To work as a dietitian or a nutritionist in India, one should hold a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics after class 12. Lot of different nutrition and dietetics diploma courses, UG courses and PG courses are available in India.
Mentioned below is the list of nutrition and dietetics courses available in India.
Eligibility: Candidates must have passed 10+2 exams from a recognized board.
Course duration: May vary from 2-3 years depending upon the institute and the course format.
Eligibility: Candidates must have passed 10+2 exams from a recognized board in science stream
Course duration: 3 years
Some of the well-known UG courses are B.Sc Nutrition and Dietetics, B.Sc Home Science, B.Sc Clinical Nutrition and B.Sc Applied Nutrition.
Graduates who have completed a UG degree or a diploma in any of the different courses of nutrition and dietetics can study PG diploma or M.Sc in the below mentioned specializations
Eligibility: Candidates must have completed a UG degree in the nutrition and dietetics courses from a recognized university or a college with a minimum aggregate mark (minimum aggregate mark varies depending upon the university/college).
Course Duration: 2 years for M.Sc and 1 year for PG diploma courses
A lot of research activities are also carried out in the field of nutrition and dietetics. So after completing a PG degree, the interested candidates can also join advanced programmes like Ph.D. and M.Phil.
To practice as a nutritionist, one should gain work experience in prior by working as an intern in any one of the hospitals or nursing homes, while pursuing a degree. An internship is an added advantage for a candidate to continue his/her career as a nutritionist.
To practice as a Registered Dietitian (RD) in India, one must have attended an internship programme for at least 6 months in any of the hospitals recognized by IDA or should have a work experience as a dietitian for 2 years in any of the multidisciplinary hospitals. If a person satisfies the educational qualifications and the internship period, then he/she can appear for the RD exam conducted by IDA. The person who clears the exam can register with IDA and become a Registered Dietitian.
To know more about RD Exam and IDA visit http://www.idaindia.com
Career opportunities in Nutrition and Dietetics
A lot of government sector and private sector jobs are available for nutritionists and dietitians in India. They provide guidance to the people on the choice of food and also create awareness to the people by conducting disease prevention and nutrition awareness programme. The job opportunities for nutrition and dietetics courses in India are mentioned below.
To plan the nutrition regiment, the Government sectors recruits the nutritionists and dietitians to work in government hospitals, nursing homes, government schools, government colleges, community health centers, government schemes and missions, government-owned factories, government organizations (office cafeteria) and Government Research and Development (R&D) units.
Nutritionists and Dietitians have opportunities in private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, restaurants, star hotels, day care centers, food product manufacturing industries, pharmaceutical companies, corporate companies (cafeteria), NGOs and private Research and Development (R&D) units.
Sports, health clubs and gyms
Diverse opportunities are available for nutritionists and dietitians in sports clubs, sports hostels, health and recreation clubs, athlete camps, fitness centers, and gyms.
Private consultant (Self-employment)
If a person has good entrepreneur skills, then he/she can start a private clinic or can act as a private consultant. Self-employment is one of the good opportunities for aspirants to shine as nutritionists or dietitians.
Really lucrative career! Instead of focusing upon only medicine or engineering, a science student can contribute meaningfully towards building a healthy society. A student with good IQ in biology can pursue this course.