How to Become a Nutritionist in India
The nutrition industry has seen a massive revolution in the last few years with a large increase in people interested in healthy living and eating.
Perhaps it is a good thing that finally people have realised their unhealthy ways of living and want to change their lifestyle for the better. Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Cancer, Obesity and Cardiac Problems are just a few diseases which have seen a huge increase in the last few years because of unhealthy lifestyles and unhealthy ways of eating.
Most people lead such busy lives that they have no time to consider the option of actually nutritive food. Doesn’t this sound very unhealthy for you? But in some way, we have all done this In our own lives. Ask yourself, when was the last time you considered what you eat and how you live.
A wave of healthy living has swept across society and it is bringing the positive change we always needed. At the forefront of this wave - of healthy living and eating, are guiding nutritionists and dieticians who are changing lives for the better.
In India, the profession of nutritionist or dietician is amongst the budding and most popular modern professions.
Nutrition as a career
Nutrition is quite a needed skill in the health sector currently. With the large amounts of people who are facing health issues and living sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles, the need for nutritionists and dieticians have plummeted to an all-time high. People are actively seeking the help of nutrition specialists and dieticians to improve their life. If this does not encourage you enough to pursue nutrition and health as a career, what’s more, is - with the rise in demand for diet specialists, dieticians and nutritionists. People following this career path have seen major growth in their income and earnings. More demand leads to more income.
Another plus point here is that you don’t need to have a degree in science to become a nutritionist. You can take up a small postgraduate course in nutritional science which usually lasts 6 months to a year and become a certified nutritionist, but let’s get on to this topic in just a little bit.
Career Paths as a Nutritionist/ Dietician
On the surface, the work of a dietician looks very simple – consult and guide people who want to live a healthier lifestyle. While it may be true in some cases. The field of nutrition and diet have many career paths which you can choose. Each career path has some similarities and many differences.
Let us have a look at all the options you can choose from
Clinical Dietician – This path will lead you towards becoming a medical health professional. Clinical Dietetics work in hospitals and clinics, interacting closely with patients and monitoring their health.
Pediatric Dietician – A pediatric dietician works with young children and guides families of young children on how to meet the proper dietary and health needs of their children. This path is again closely related to the medical field.
Sports and Health Nutritionist – If you have always dreamed of mentoring athletes and sports stars, this career path will make it a reality. Sports Nutritionists work closely with athletes and sportsmen and help them with meeting their dietary requirements for their respective sports. This path is very versatile and high paying.
Research and Development – This career path is best suited for scientific minds who want to explore the field of nutritive science and health-based research. Food Researchers are usually employed by universities to conduct groundbreaking studies or by food manufacturers to methodically develop new products for their companies. In this career option, you will be dealing primarily with research and studies regarding food and food tech.
So, how do I become a nutritionist/ dietician?
While the work of a dietician or nutritionist isn’t very complicated. The education required beforehand sure is complex and scientific. In India, traditionally you will be required to study your 12th Std in the science stream (biology being the important subject) and then move on to a bachelors in Nutrition. Here are your options for study:
· 12th Science -> B.A/ B.Sc Nutrition
· 12th Science -> B.Sc in Food Technology
· Post Graduation -> M.Sc in Food and Nutrition
· Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition
Most studies in the nutritional sciences end with an 8-10 week long internship which can get you up to date with the industry requirements and professional requirements as a nutritionist.
To become a dietician, you will be required to register with the Indian Dietetics Association and secure a Dietician License, which will allow you to professionally work as a dietician.