Dieticians and nutritionists correct eating habits of patients and help them lead a healthy life. They are employed to assist people to plan meals depending upon their age, work and lifestyle. If the patients have a special disorder like diabetes or heart disease, the diets are customized for them. They monitor their patients repeatedly and implement the effects on the diet plans.
A dietician is often confused with a nutritionist. A nutritionist simply studies the effect of storage, heat and other physical- chemical factors on food. They also evaluate the effect of food on humans. They are usually employed to prevent complications in patients and assist them in recovery.
The studies of Nutrition and Dietetics are interlinked and complimentary to each other. It is one of the growing possibilities in today's world. These practitioners find jobs in hospitals, clinics, star hotels, labs, canteens, recreation centers etc. Also, they are employed by private agencies for consultancy. There are many openings in the media and print for columns and programs.
A dietician must be socio-friendly and easily likable. They must be apt in communication and have enough patience to convince children and adults to follow the diet plans. In cases of the critically ill and elderly, they have to closely monitor the situational and be ready for emergencies. In such cases one mistake may cost a life.
There are four types of dieticians and nutritionists.
They work in hospitals and clinics and assist in drawing diet plans for the sick. They associate with doctors to draw up nutrition and calorific restriction details to avoid further complications and best assist the recovery of the patient.
They work in public health centers like clinics, home health agencies and health maintenance organizations. They design diet plans to prevent disorders and promote general health.
Community nutritionists analyze fiber and nutrition content in packaged foods and prepare literary distribution.
They work in health care facilities, companies, schools, defense establishments, sports facilities, prisons etc. They plan the large scale meals and over see the sanitary conditions. They also help prepare individual records of each patient.
They work under health care facilities or carry out their own private practice. They assist their patients on diet planning, weight loss, cholesterol reduction etc.
People opting to work as a dietician or a nutritionist may study a three year B.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics. Four year courses are also available in post graduation.