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Is Nutrition and Dietetics a Good Career Option?

-L. Bushra Taj, Korean Language Student at UGS
Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hi there, I’m L. Bushra Taj, a 20-year-old. I recently finished my undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics. Alongside that, I completed a diploma in acupuncture therapy, and I’ve taken my passion further by pursuing an M.D. program in acupuncture therapy. Currently, I’m gaining experience as an intern therapist at a clinic, where I also visit patients at their homes for treatment. Here’s a brief introduction about myself.

“Why are you choosing nutrition over engineering or other fields?” “Why do you not want to study engineering?” “Nutrition is all about cooking, isn’t it?” “Why bother with a whole degree for something anyone can do?” “Isn’t studying nutrition a waste of three years of your life?” “What job prospects do you think you’ll have with that degree?” “Are you afraid of hard work or what?” “Are you not up to the challenge?” “Why choose a path that seems to lead only to the kitchen, with no other opportunities?” These are the questions I’ve been hearing from 2021 until now.

Before diving into this course, I often questioned and doubted myself whether the things I heard about the course were true or just rumors until I actually started studying it. In my journey, I’ve heard lots of different opinions about nutrition and dietetics. But I really understood why my studies were important when I learned more about the subject. I ignored the negative things people said and grew to love what I was learning. I believe it’s important for students like us to talk about our courses and “education” in general.

Feeling left out in a group of engineering students was tough for me. They talked about stuff like math and computers, while I was more into learning about food and health. It made me feel like I didn’t belong, like I wasn’t as smart or as good as them. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with what they were talking about. It made me feel inferior and like my interests weren’t important. But I didn’t let their opinions bring me down. I remembered that what I cared about was valid, even if it was different from theirs. So, if you ever feel like you don’t fit in with a certain group, remember that it’s okay to be different. Your interests and passions are what make you special, and you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel bad about them.

Nutrition and dietetics offer many opportunities, worldwide, if we constantly look for them. People often think the only good careers are in Medicine or Engineering, but there are so many other options. I’ve always been curious and wanted to explore different paths to find what I love. Choosing to study nutrition has been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s not just about anything; it’s about being a scientist and helping people stay healthy by understanding food.

Understanding nutrition is crucial for everyone because it affects our health in various ways. What we eat fuels our bodies and helps us grow, stay strong, and fight off illness. If we don’t eat the right things, we can get sick or feel tired all the time. In today’s world, there’s a big demand for Nutritional knowledge because many people are eating food that isn’t good for them. Junk food and sugary snacks are everywhere, and they can make us sick. Plus, with so much unhealthy food around, there’s a need for experts who can help us figure out how to eat better and feel better. Knowing about nutrition helps us make good choices about what to eat so we can stay healthy and feel our best. On top of that, it can prevent major problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Short and simple: “You are what you eat.” This age-old saying reminds us that the food we consume directly impacts our health and well-being. Choosing nutritious foods nourishes our bodies, while unhealthy choices can lead to poor health outcomes. In essence, our dietary habits shape who we are physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In my opinion, having a subject on nutrition in school curriculums is really important because it teaches students basic knowledge about why eating healthy is so good for them. When we understand how different foods affect our bodies, we can make better choices about what to eat. It’s like giving students a toolkit to help them take care of themselves. So, having a subject on nutrition in all schools can set kids up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Learning about nutrition in school can also help students develop important life skills. They learn how to read food labels to understand what’s in the food they eat. This helps them to make good choices when grocery shopping or eating out. Additionally, understanding nutrition can improve academic performance. Studies have shown that students who eat nutritious meals perform better in school. So, by teaching nutrition in schools, we’re not just promoting physical health, but also enhancing cognitive abilities and overall well-being. Moreover, as children grow into adults, they become responsible for their health. Having a solid foundation in nutrition from school equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy choices throughout their lives. They can pass on this knowledge to their families and communities, creating a ripple effect of positive change. In today’s world, where fast food and processed snacks are readily available, teaching nutrition in schools is more important than ever. It’s Important for this and the upcoming generations to take control of their health and make choices that will benefit them for years to come. So, integrating nutrition into school curriculums is essential for creating a healthier and happier society.

Now coming back to individuals seeking guidance from nutrition experts, it’s important to recognize that even with their vast knowledge and experience in other fields, the importance of nutrition often demands specialized expertise. This is because nutrition isn’t just about knowing what foods to eat; it involves understanding how various nutrients interact with the body, considering individual health goals and conditions, and staying updated on the latest research and recommendations. Even CEOs, politicians, celebrities, higher authorities and other individuals recognize the value of consulting with nutrition experts to optimize their health and well-being. By seeking advice from nutrition professionals, they can ensure they’re fueling their bodies with the right foods to sustain their energy, focus, and overall vitality.

Individuals with a background in nutrition have ample opportunities to collaborate with esteemed organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and various public health programs. These collaborations mainly focus on addressing global health issues, particularly malnutrition – which is more prevalent, through the development of guidelines, policies, and community-based interventions. Nutritionists and dieticians also contribute to research, advocacy efforts, and professional development activities, making great impacts on public health initiatives “worldwide”.

In most Indian households, the importance of studying nutrition isn’t fully appreciated. They often prioritize academic fields like engineering or medicine, the importance of nutrition education is overlooked, most of the time. However, as awareness grows about the role of nutrition in overall health and well-being, more families are starting to recognize the value of teaching their children about healthy eating habits and the science behind nutrition. This shift in mindset shows a growing understanding and the importance of education that includes not just academic subjects, but also essential life skills like nutrition.

No matter what field you’re in, nutrition plays a big role in everyone’s lives. Whether you’re a teacher, a musician, or a stay-at-home parent, what you eat impacts how you feel and perform in your daily life. Good nutrition provides the energy and nutrients our bodies need to function optimally, no matter what we do.

Nutritionists and dieticians play a crucial role in helping patients recover from various illnesses and conditions, ranging from cancer and diabetes to heart disease and obesity. They understand how different foods can impact health and work closely with patients to develop personalized nutrition plans that support their treatment and recovery.

For cancer patients, nutritionists help manage side effects of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, ensuring they maintain their strength and immune function. Similarly, for individuals with diabetes, nutritionists provide guidance on managing blood sugar levels through diet and lifestyle changes. In the case of heart disease, nutritionists advise on heart-healthy eating habits to reduce the risk of complications and improve cardiovascular health. They also play a vital role in supporting patients struggling with obesity, helping them adopt healthier eating habits and manage their weight effectively. For patients with kidney diseases like renal failure, both acute and chronic, nutritionists develop specialized diets to alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage to the kidneys. They carefully monitor nutrient intake to ensure patients maintain proper electrolyte balance and overall health. Even for common illnesses like typhoid, malaria, and gastrointestinal problems, nutritionists provide dietary recommendations to support recovery and replenish lost nutrients. Moreover, nutritionists and dieticians are invaluable members of the healthcare team for patients undergoing surgeries. They assist in the transition back to regular eating patterns and promote optimal recovery.

Challenges- Choosing Nutrition as my career path has been one of the most fulfilling decisions of my life, but it hasn’t been without its challenges, as usual. From the moment I embarked on this journey, I faced skepticism and criticism from those around me. People questioned why I chose this course and even went as far as to label it as “useless”. They whispered behind my back, saying that I wasted three precious years of my life pursuing a degree that would lead “nowhere”. These comments hurt, and at times, they made me doubt my choice. But deep down, I knew the value of what I was learning. I understood the impact nutrition has on our health and well-being, and I was determined to pursue my passion despite the negativity. Instead of letting the doubts of others discourage me, I used them as fuel to push myself forward. I immersed myself completely in my studies, deeply diving into the science of nutrition and dietetics. With each lesson, I became more convinced of the importance of my chosen field. Moreover, I started an Instagram page to share nutrition tips with others where I’m wishing to integrate it with Acupuncture in the future. I’m wishing to start my own blog where I share everything I’ve studied. I’ve learned to brush off the negative comments and focus on my goals on a daily routine. Every challenge I faced has only made me stronger and more determined to succeed. So, to anyone who doubts the value of a degree in nutrition, I say this: You may not see the benefits now, but they are there, waiting to be discovered. And for me, knowing that I’ll be making a difference in the lives of others through nutrition and acupuncture therapy is worth every moment of criticism I’ve faced.

Nutritionists and dieticians are like lifesavers in hospitals. You see, every patient in the hospital needs to meet their nutritional requirements to get better. Whether it’s someone recovering from surgery or fighting off an illness, nutrition plays a huge role in helping them heal and stay strong. That’s where nutritionists and dieticians come in. They work closely with doctors and nurses to make sure each patient gets the right foods and nutrients they need. They create meal plans tailored to each person’s condition and help them eat in a way that supports their recovery. In fact, you won’t find a single hospital without nutritionists and dieticians. They’re that important! So, next time you’re in a hospital, remember to give a big thank you to these unsung heroes who are working behind the scenes to help patients get better.

In today’s digital age, conducting online seminars and workshops can be a game-changer in spreading awareness about nutrition and promoting healthy lifestyles. As someone passionate about nutrition and its impact on health, I strongly believe that leveraging online platforms can reach a wider audience and make valuable information more accessible to everyone. One of the key advantages of online seminars and workshops is their convenience. People can participate from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need for travel and making it easier for busy individuals to attend. This flexibility opens doors for more people to engage with the content and learn about important nutrition topics.

So, in a nutshell, Nutrition is the foundation of our well-being, and it’s something that everyone, regardless of their profession, should understand and prioritize. After all, we all want to live healthy, fulfilling lives, and that starts with what we put on our plates.


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