Nowadays, we live a hectic life. We are so busy in our lives that we often do miss taking care of our health which leads to long-term illness and other complications. Having a full diet plan for every day is a very important thing for everybody. It helps all the people to keep up their health and to monitor the daily routine. Slowly with time, people are getting conscious about their diet plans and health issues. And this certainly makes the career of a dietician or a nutritionist very demanding.
Students who love the subject of nutrition can definitely pursue this in the future and become a well-known dietician in India. Dieticians examine the human body and evaluate it. After this, they make a diet plan according to different aspects of the human body. Now if these things are sounding interesting to you and you are thinking about how to take this as a career option, you are in the right place. This article will show the path to become a dietician in India.
Stream or subjects for class 12 to become a dietician:
Students who aspire to become a dietician can choose any stream in their 12th academic background. But choosing the science stream will be wise. As it will help the students to get a wider range of career options as a dietician. And biology will definitely help you to gain a lot of knowledge about human physiology. Other than the science background, students having arts or commerce background can also pursue further studies to become a dietician.
Graduation courses for becoming a dietician:
For graduation studies, there are a lot of courses offered in India to become a dietician. A student can opt for B.Sc. Home Science, B.Sc. Nutrition, etc. courses. The colleges take admission based on the 12th final year marks. Let’s see the details of the courses for graduation.
1. B.A. / B.Sc. in Nutrition:
This course is for 3 years and covers many topics. The topics that this course discusses are – basics of nutrition, human physiology, health, food technology, weight-loss strategies, etc. This course talks about the general topics of nutrition as well as the advanced topics like – maternal and child health, public health, etc. Many techniques of food preservation, food quality analysis, basics of the bakery, etc. are also discussed in this course. This course will teach the students how to make a diet chart or food planning to lose weight.
2. B.Sc. in Food Technology:
This course is also for 3 years and it focuses on the safe use of food. Food technology is a scientific process. It deals with the various principles of food preservatives which include selecting food, preserving the food, packaging it, and safely distributing the food. This course reveals the principles of food science, basics of food technology, ways of food processing, nutrition, food engineering, food preparation, etc. There is another very important aspect in this course that is testing the quality of the food and evaluating the food based on the quality. This course is very helpful to understand the details and science of food and nutrition. And this will also open a large sector that is beyond nutrition.
Courses for post graduation program:
After the graduation course, a student can opt for different courses like – diploma courses about nutrition and dietetics, or a master’s degree in food and nutrition. A master’s degree will give the students more knowledge about theory and practical. And for that reason, they can get an upper hand in the career field. Candidates will get a greater spectrum about the details through internships or research.
1. M.Sc.in food and nutrition to become a dietician:
The post-graduation program allows the students to opt for a specialization in food and nutrition. The specialized fields under this course are – public health, clinical health, child/adolescents, food processing, etc. This course also emphasizes - Therapeutic Nutrition, Human Nutrition, Quality Control, Food science, etc.
Students must do an internship at least for 6 to 8 months. This internship will help the students to find many details of the subject. Also, this will make the way to choose a certain topic for research for the students. It gives an opportunity to the student to know about different sides of research fields that will later help them and also, they will have a practical experience about the theory. Colleges conduct entrance exams for the admission process according to their rules.
2. Postgraduate diploma to become a dietician:
These diploma courses are generally for 1 year. This course discusses public nutrition, fundamentals of nutrition, institutional food management, therapeutic nutrition, and public health nutrition. These are some basic structures of the course but some colleges may vary at some point. The course is followed by an internship for a minimum of 7 to 8 weeks at a healthcare centre. Colleges take admission based on the merit of the students.
Colleges and Institutions offering courses:
The colleges that offer B.A, B.Sc., M.Sc., and PG Diploma courses are –
• Lady Irwin College (New Delhi)
• All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Nirmala Niketan (Mumbai)
• SNDT Women’s University (Mumbai)
Way to become a registered dietician in India:
If a student wants to become a registered dietician, PG Diploma is sufficient. But they need to appear for the entrance exam conducted by the Indian Dietetic Association or the IDA to get the license. Students must have a PG Diploma certificate or a postgraduate degree with the experience of an internship.
A candidate has to get through the two papers of the examination to get the license and then only can become a registered dietician. There are a lot of various scopes for a dietician.
· Clinical Dieticians:
This section of dieticians deals with patients in healthcare centres and helps to maintain their health intake. They also help patients suffering from different diseases by making them a diet chart consisting of appropriate nutrition values.
· Health and Sports Dieticians:
These dieticians work with athletic teams, sports clubs, and sports personalities. They make diet charts to help them to maintain weight and body muscle. They also monitor their nutrition levels.
· Pediatric Dieticians:
These dieticians generally deal with infants or adolescents and advise them to maintain their nutrition level according to the age groups. They can work in health centres or hospitals or even independently.
· Research and Development:
Many dieticians work to analyze the nutritional values and qualities of food. Their work is lab-based and finds the nutritive components and values of food. Their research helps the other dieticians to work properly in their fields.
Dieticians can work in diverse fields, and the remuneration amount is also worth it. Students do not need to worry because the field is really flexible. So, if any student is eager to know a wider range of food and nutrition, becoming a dietician will be suitable for them.
By Sayantika Mondal