By Dr. Neeraj Mahindroo, Dean, School of Health Sciences, UPES
When you think about careers in nutrition, your first thought may naturally be: nutritionist or a weight manager. While that’s undoubtedly the most common path for someone with a degree in Nutrition Sciences, there are actually a wide range of career options for someone interested in the field with the growing awareness about ‘You are what you eat’. Whether you want to work in a first world or a third-world country, with young children or the elderly, freelance or for a large company, there is a food-related job everywhere for you:
Food Industry Professionals
Food is a major industry that is growing in all aspects and from food manufacturers to promotional councils, there are opportunities in all sectors for jobs related to food and nutrition. The food industry is full of opportunities for those who have a background in food and nutrition sciences.From developing recipes and analyzing products for nutritional labeling to promoting and educating consumers about the nutritional value of specific foods.
No discussion of careers in nutrition would be complete without mentioning chefs. Whether working in a restaurant or as a private chef, a knowledge of nutrition is useful. Although many chefs are more focused on learning preparation techniques, for many, the nutritional value of their meals is also a concern. For instance, a private chef may be charged with preparing a special diet for his or her client, carefully maximizing nutritional value while limiting calories. Chefs may also work for food manufacturers, weight loss companies or home delivery services, developing and testing recipes.
Public Health Worker
A background in nutrition and food can open doors to opportunities in public health nutrition. In these jobs, you use your knowledge of the principles of healthy eating, nutrition and public health to design programs, policies and systems that support and maintain good health for specific populations.
Food writers do more than just review restaurants. Someone with a background in food and nutrition can often find writing opportunities across the spectrum, from reporting on food news and trends for magazines and websites to working on reports and information for medical, governmental and aid agencies, among others.
A clinical dietician is someone who works with healthcare providers and patients in a healthcare setting and for many clinical dieticians, creating an eating plan that meets the patient’s caloric and nutritional needs is only the beginning. Many factors influence how one eats, including economic status, cultural background, psychology, living conditions and support from others.