Perhaps the most noble and rewarding of all professions are those that help people maintain, regain and enhance health as well as prevent and cope with disease. One such profession is the nutritionist or nutrition specialist. Considering that nutrition plays a major role in determining our state of health and our susceptibility to many diseases, and that the USDA has reported that only 10% of Americans have a “good diet”, the well-educated nutrition professional is perfectly poised to make a major difference in the health and well being of Americans and people all over the world.
How does a Nutritionist differ from a Dietician?
You may notice that we did not use the term “dietician” in the preceeding paragraph. Consequently, you may wonder how a nutritionist differs from a dietician. Naturally, there are various opinions on how best to answer this question. From HUHS’s perspective, a nutritionist is a health specialist who devotes his/her professional activity to food/nutrition science and education, preventive nutrition, diseases related to nutrient deficiencies, and the use of nutrient manipulation (including dietary supplements) to promote wellness and enhance the clinical response to the promotion of health.
The nutritionist’s scope of practice consists of expertise in:
- Taking and evaluating clients nutritional and medical histories to assess nutritional needs
- Evaluating the results of laboratory tests to assess nutritional needs
- Developing plans of nutritional therapy and counseling
- Engaging in patient follow-up to assess outcomes of nutritional therapy and counseling
- Educating clients and the public at large about nutrition
- Making appropriate referrals to other health care specialists
These nutrition related functions are performed by nutritionists with a high degree of excellence. The nutritionist does not specifically specialize, nor hold him/herself out as being expert, in kitchen management, management of private, public, and governmental food facilities, menu planning, labor relations, and other technical matters within the purview of the dietitian.
A nutritionist has demonstrated proficiency a broad range of post-secondary subjects, including basic sciences, nutrition and dietary supplement sciences, and nutrition assessment and counseling.
What will be your contribution to the profession?
Clearly you have an interest in being such a well-educated nutrition professional, or you wouldn’t be reading this now. We commend you! Perhaps you’re interested in practicing in a clinical setting; or perhaps your contribution will be in a corporate, athletic or retail environment. You may even have the greatest impact as an educator, or by writing books or articles to enlighten the public about the importance of nutrition in their lives. Although HUHS cannot assure your employment as a nutrition professional, we can assure that you’ll receive a quality nutrition education to help you on your career and life path.
Following is a list of possible career paths that a diploma or degree from HUHS may take you:
- Clinical nutrition. Private nutrition counseling services provide individual consultations for people experiencing weight problems, lack of energy, or physical illness. There may also be administrative or clerical support opportunities in a private practice, multi-specialty medical clinic, or even a web-based nutrition counseling service.
- Food manufacturers. Food product development, testing, and marketing are important in food manufacturing and processing companies that require the expertise of nutrition professionals.
- Dietary supplement manufacturers. Dietary supplement manufactures require educated nutrition professionals with an expertise in dietary supplement science to help in the research, development, marketing and sales of dietary supplements.
- Retail stores. Organic markets, natural food stores, and retail vitamin and supplement outlets appreciate having staff who have specialized knowledge of nutrition. And many supermarkets these days have whole sections devoted to organic foods.
- Many high-quality vitamin and mineral supplement distributors rely on personal sales consultants to market their products independently. These products may be marketed by phone, mail, retail, or Internet sales.
- Nutrition education. School, recreation, community, and civic groups appreciate learning the fundamentals of making proper food choices. Nutrition education services are often found in fitness centers as well.
- Post-secondary nutrition education. Graduates of the Master of Science degree in nutrition may have opportunities to teach nutrition courses at community colleges or distance learning institutions.
- Weight loss centers. Weight management and diet centers develop dieting regimens geared to safe weight reduction and helping clients achieve ideal weights. They may employ assistants, who could have the opportunity to interact with clients one-on-one.
- Corporate wellness programs. Many companies invest in their employees’ health and fitness by sponsoring wellness programs, including in-house workout rooms, nutrition counseling, and personal training. Nutrition experts often play key roles in the operation of successful corporate wellness programs.
HUHS fits your needs
In any case, for 32 years HUHS has provided academic programs to fit student needs; and we can do the same for you. Our accredited, distance learning, diploma and degree programs will provide you with a world-class education in the nutritional sciences, including scientifically sound views on alternative and complementary nutrition practices.
In addition, HUHS’s distance learning venue means no live classes to attend, so busy adults have maximum flexibility with regard to their schedule. Courses and academic programs can be completed from your home, office or other convenient setting.
You’ll also be pleased to know that you don’t have to exchange convenience for quality. Our academic standards are second to none, and our courses are all developed and taught by highly qualified and well credentialed faculty. Furthermore, HUHS is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC is the only accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for accrediting distance learning institutions, their courses and programs.
Please do note that none of our programs are intended to lead towards a Registered Dietitian (RD) credential.
Please see our Registered Dietitian Disclosure.
Since there are states and/or countries that have regulations as to the educational requirements and use of various occupational titles, we suggest that you check with your state to see if there are any applicable regulations. Students are responsible for determining if their country or state has any requirements with regards to providing nutrition counseling or services.
In any case, the use of “Registered Dietitian” or “Dietitian” are restricted to those individuals who met the credentialing requirements of the American Dietetic Association.
The American Nutrition Association® (Formerly the Center for Nutrition Advocacy®) is an excellent resource for those interested in pursuing a career in Nutrition.
The Council of Holistic Health Educators is an excellent resource for those interested in pursuing a career in Nutrition.