It can also be said to be the “science and art of human nutritional care.”
Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics is an upcoming field where the demand is increasing in an exponential order. Dietetics is the science and art of feeding individuals based on the principles of nutrition. Diet therapy and its application in patient related settings is a major focus of dietetics. Thus, the field of dietetics can be related to: (a) nutrition care and intervention focused on the individual and (b) nutrition care and intervention focused on the group.
Diet plays a major role in promotion of health and well being of individual. A good and balanced diet habit improves the quality of life while poor diet may lead to life style disorder which is concern in today’s hectic schedule. Nutritionists and dietetics are concerned with this aspect. While dietetics is related to food management, nutrition is related to promotion of health. Due to changes in food habits of most of the urban population, role of nutritionists and dieticians is becoming more important. They suggest corrective food habits considering various aspects of an individual such as age, work routine and sickness etc. and thereby improving their quality of life. They also educate their clients about preparation of food according to the principles of nutrition. They know about food production and processing, psychological factors influencing food choice, digestion and its effects on nutritional aspects. A growing and aging population will increase the demand for meals and nutritional counseling in nursing homes, schools, prisons, community health programmes, and home health care agencies. They also develop modified food product as per the life style disorder and become a self employed entrepreneur.
ROLE OF DIETITIAN IN HEALTH CARE
The role of dietitian has come a long way since the early 1900’s. Their role is still unknown to a lot of people. Some think that dietitians, as their name implies, only give out diets to make individuals lose weight, whereas this is a small part of their role. The dietitian is the link between the patient and medical team or physician in assisting difficult decisions making about nutrition care. A dilemma occurs when the disease state of the patient confound the adequacy of nutritional support, which has resulted in the patient’s undernourishment. The dietitian should be:
- Planning food and nutrition programs
- Supervising meal preparations in schools and hospitals
- Recommending dietary modifications
- Educating patients on diets that may help their condition
- Working with other healthcare professionals to provide a multidisciplinary healthcare approach
- Informing on the severity of illness and complications of treatments, inclusive of the benefits and burdens of feeding in all conceivable routes.
- Active in the patients care as the dietitian reporting on the nutritional status of the patient, as well as, the advisor to the physician and medicinal team, and
- Informing the legal decisions that may help determine the route of care for the patient, such as more aggressive or palliative care.
After completion of BSc in Nutrition followed by Master degree in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics Student can appear for Registered Dietician (RD) Exam which makes her eligible as Registered Dieticians as per State Government norms.
Community dietitians counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health. They work in places such as public health clinics, home health agencies and health maintenance organizations.
On a typical day a community dietitian will
- evaluate individual needs
- develop nutritional care plans
- instruct individuals and their families how to follow these plans
Management dietitians oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in health care facilities, company cafeterias, prisons and schools. On a typical day a management dietitian will:
- hire, train and direct other dietitians and food service workers
- enforce sanitary and safety regulations
- prepare records and reports
- create a budget for and then purchase food, equipment and supplies
- enforce sanitary and safety regulations
- prepare records and reports
Consultant dietitians work under contract with healthcare facilities or in their own private practices. On a typical day a consultant dietitian will:
- perform nutrition screenings for their clients
- offer advice on diet-related concerns such as weight loss or cholesterol reduction
Government Sector: They can work with government hospitals, government’s health department, schools, colleges, factories and office cafeterias for planning nutritional regiment.
Sports and Health Clubs: They can also work for sports hostels and athletes camps. Health and recreation clubs, canteen and nursing care facilities also require the services of nutritionists and dietitians. Employment opportunities are also open to them in catering department of star hotels and restaurants.
Teaching, Research and Development: Research and development involves conducting research on various food items to ensure their quality as well as studying the effects of various types of diet on the body chemistry in labs. The research dietician or nutritionists do research on nutritive value of food which helps to understand the various components of food we eat and the right type of food which provides a balanced mix of the essentials like vitamins, minerals etc. needed for the human body. They also can opt for research career mainly in universities, public or private sector research institutes, food product manufacturing companies and hospitals. Teaching the science of nutrition of dietetics in colleges and universities is also a good option.
Mass Media: Moreover they could find openings in the mass media where top priority is given to disseminating vital information on healthy living.
Gyms, Slimming Centers: They work in the Gym & Slimming Centres as Nutritional Counselor
Private Consultant/ Practitioner: Experienced dietitians may become assistant, associate, or director of a dietetic department, or become self-employed. Some dietitians specialize in areas such as renal or pediatric dietetics. Besides all these they can also work as private consultant or private practitioner.
B.Sc. with Food Science and Nutrition/ Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics/FoodScience and Quality Control/ Applied Nutrition/ Food Technology /Bio Chemistry/ Microbiology/ Biotechnology/ Life Sciences/with 50% marks or B Grade from any recognized University. Students who have no nutrition background at undergraduate level are required to complete the prescribed pre requisites with minimum 50% marks. (Reference: SNDT Women’s University Website).
LIST OF COLLEGES IN MUMBAI OFFERING M. SC. IN CLINICAL NUTRITION & DIETETICS
|S.No||Name of Colleges||Courses
|1.||Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University (SNDT), Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (West) Mumbai
|M.Sc. Clinical Nutrition, PG diploma in Dietetics and Nutrition|
|2.||DR BMN College of Home Science
Affiliated to SNDT Women’s University 338 R.A Kidwai Road
Matunga Mumbai 19
|BSc in Food Science & Nutrition, BSc in Nutrition & Dietetics,
M.Sc. Clinical Nutrition, PG Diploma in
Sports science fitness and nutrition
|3.||SVT College of Home Science (Autonomous)
SNDT Women’s University, Juhu Tara Road, Santacruz (West) Mumbai 49
|BSc in Food Science & Nutrition, PG Diploma in Clinical Nutrition &Dietetics|
|4.||Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science
University of Mumbai, Mumbai
|BSc in Food Science & Nutrition,
MSc in Food Nutrition & Dietetics,
MSc in Sports Nutrition, MSC in Food Processing & Preservation
LIST OF INSTITUTES OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS THROUGH DISTANCE EDUCATION IN INDIA
|S.No||Name of Colleges||Eligibility||Courses|
|1.||Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai (T.N.) visit www.mkudde.org within||Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics, Food and Nutrition or a related area MBBS or Master’s Degree in Biochemistry / Physiology /Foods & Nutrition / Dietetics||1 Year Diploma in applied Nutrition and Dietetics, B.Sc. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics/Clinical Nutrition/ Home Science|
|2.||Institute of Nutrition (Affiliated to NTR University of Health Sciences)||Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics, Food and Nutrition or a related area MBBS or Master’s Degree in Biochemistry / Physiology /Foods & Nutrition / Dietetics||M.Sc. (Applied Nutrition)|
|3.||Sri Padmavati Mahila Vishwavidyalayam, Tirupati (A.P.)||B.Sc. Home Science (50% Marks).||1 year Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics|
|4.||University of Bombay, M.G. Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400032||B.Sc Home Science||1 year Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics|
|5||Bangalore University, Central College Campus, Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore – 560001||Pass in PUC or equivalent examination with Home Science / Chemistry as an optional subject.||1 year Diploma Course in Applied Nutrition & Dietetics (Engineering Med.)|
|6||University of Home Economics (Delhi University||10+2 with science||Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition|
|7||Indira Gandhi National Open University. visit www.ignou.ac.in||B.Sc. in Home Science or Food and Nutrition/ or Dietetics and Food Service Management or graduation in related field||M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management|
|8||Utkal University, Bhubaneswar||B.Sc. in Home Science or Foods and Nutrition/ or Dietetics and Food Service Management||PG Diploma in Dietetics and Nutrition Management|
|9||Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University, Bhopal||B.Sc. in Home Science or Food and Nutrition/ or Dietetics and Food Service Management||PG Diploma in Dietetics and Therapeutic Nutrition for graduates|
About the author :
Dr Rupali is Coordinator- MSc in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics at DR BMN College of Home Science [Affiliated to SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai]. She is also Program In-charge & Academic Counselor in MSc in Dietetics & Food Service Management, IGNOU University