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M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics: Why is it important?

Nutrition is directly related to diet and health. It involves metabolic and physiological responses of the human body to the diet they consume.

It has the power to solve the negative health aspects like deficiencies, excesses and imbalances through diet. And the results are the best indicators of its success by virtue of a healthier body and mind.

The kind of diseases one can control through diet and nutrition are: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency), osteoporosis (Vitamin B and D deficiency), psychological and behavioural problems.

In addition to that the current lifestyle of people holding sedentary jobs is highly detrimental to their health leading to the upswing in lifestyle diseases that start with high blood sugar and pressure problems which in turn is caused out of increased stress levels. Now of all times Nutrition and Dietetics plays a major role to ensure good living and good health.

What will one gain from M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics?

One learns about diet through understanding what a body wants and what it needs based on certain health parameters. M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics is a comprehensive course that helps you ascertain just that. Breaking it down to the basics this course will help you perform:

–          Critical evaluation of food through nutrition, dietetics and research.

–          People management- learning to interact with patients and students.

–          Real time industry association with dieticians and clinicians.

–          Application of customized advanced diet therapy.

–          Fraternity interactions with professionals at research projects and conferences

–          Finding a seamless integration between medicine, chemistry and food to nourish the body and treat ailments.

What are the main areas of study in M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics?

As the name suggests, this study deals with managing a balanced diet, in order to prevent bodily diseases and malnourishment from a poor diet, which leads to imbalances in the human body. This brings the spotlight on Obesity and chronic illnesses linked to obesity, a lifestyle disease that is shaping up to something much bigger than what it was expected to do. Hence, the most popular specialization in Food Science in the current scenario is Nutrition and Dietetics. The key areas of nutrition are:

–          Study of food elements and nutrients and its impact on the human body.

–          Analysis of substances ingested through food and drinks and their impact on human body.

–          Chalking out a balanced food diet to maintain the body.

Major components of study included within this field of study are:

–          Preventive approach to nutrition, w.r.t., health and diseases.

–          Fundamentals of nutrition in the Human Body.

–          Food microbiology for understanding the underlying elements and composition.

–          Sports nutrition for performance and endurance in competitive arenas.

–          Weight management from beauty as well as wellness perspectives.

–          Measuring nutrition and its impact on special scenarios along with necessary support.

What are the possible opportunities for students after M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics?

Wherever there is an opportunity for food there will be scope for students with M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics. Some of these are:

–          Practice in medical and dental schools as resident Dietitian/ Nutritionist or as educators.

–          Food Safety Officers who understand composition, quality and safety of foods as well as properties of food ingredients.

–          Areas demanding proficiency w.r.t. metabolism and utilization of nutrients for healing and fighting diseases.

–          Areas requiring advanced understanding of the influences of exercise and fitness in food.

The kind of organizations that look for these post graduates are:

–          Nutrition-based communities including rehabilitation centers, schools, colleges, hospitals, research facilities, public health clinics, etc.

–          Organizations who majorly deal in Food Products.

–          Management and operation of food service facilities including cafeterias, airlines, etc.

–          Dietetics consultants for wellness programs for those recovering from maternity, renal disorders, pediatric requirements and other unique nutrition related physical conditions.

–          Nutrition and dietetics services for sports and entertainment people.

–          Apart from these there are private consultants and practitioners, associates of a dietetic department and directors.

What is the average salary one can expect with M.Sc. in Nutrition and Dietetics?

The average annual salary offered to successful postgraduates ranges between INR 2 – 12 lacs, as per industry data, depending upon the candidate’s expertise in the field. Some of the best paying roles are:

–          Clinical Dietician: Their main jobs are to design and supervise custom-made nutritional programs for patient care to cater to every patient’s individual needs. They can be specialists in treating a special kind of patients- geriatric, pediatric, renal etc. Depending on the stature of the healthcare provider the salaries will vary.

–          Management Dietician: These are not more in tuned with the medical aspects but work with the basic skills of supervision and planning behind-the-scenes. They perform a variety of administrative duties where they hire and train workers, create budgets, ensure health and safety code compliances and so on.

–          Consultant Dietician: This is mainly the role of a dietetic assistant, who can work in a hospital setting, or other institutional food service environments. They report to a supervisor and assist in planning menu for patient food selections, revisit and revise recipes and perform portion control. They also keep stock of the records for the supervisors to maintain budgets and usage records w.r.t. supplies and other provisions.

–          Community Dietician: There is a group dynamics in this particular job. They work in a team of professionals including Technicians who are responsible for providing accurate and individualized diet and nutrition counseling. Diet and nutrition counseling helps improve the nutritional habits of clients and patients.

–          Nutrition Product Manager: This is primarily marketing and sales centered role where one is responsible for securing the sale of goods and services. Finding the right things to highlight to create the demand for the item and reach out to potential customers. They can also be involved in development and planning of advertising and marketing strategies.