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Online Nutrition & Fitness Degree Programs
Why it's a Good Time to Pursue Fitness and Nutrition Degrees Online
With politicians battling vending machines and cracking down on junk food ads on prime time TV, obesity is fast eclipsing smoking as the greatest preventable risk for early death in the United States. Enter the nutritionist, whose role is more important than ever. Poor nutrition is linked with higher rates of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, among other ailments. Nutritionists and dieticians help patients change their eating habits for the better by creating food and nutrition plans designed to combat obesity and other conditions as needed. Earning Fitness and Nutrition Degrees Online may start you on this path.
Nutritionists and dieticians work everywhere, not just in gyms or restaurants. They create diets for individuals and larger populations in hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, airlines and other institutions where special-needs meals are provided. Others have private practices where they consult clients on goals like weight loss or cholesterol management. Some may also specialize in food-related problems such as allergies or eating disorders.
While most nutritionists find jobs in health care centers, there are plenty of other opportunities in food research, food marketing, quality control for supermarkets and other food producers, and health educators. A way to take advantage of these opportunities is to earn online nutrition & fitness degrees.
What are Online Nutrition Fitness Degrees?
What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician? Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, the difference lies in licensure. A nutritionist has at least a bachelor degree, whereas a dietitian usually has passed a licensing exam. By earning online nutrition & fitness degrees, students will learn about the importance of food in a public health context and also how it affects health at the individual level. Students pursuing Fitness and Nutrition Degrees Online may come away with an understanding of anatomy/physiology, microbiology, chemistry, food production, and specialty diets. Bachelor and Master's Degrees in Food Science and/or Nutrition focus on the real-world application of the latest research in the field.
We asked Jewels Lett, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, to elaborate on:What to expect when pursuing Nutrition & Fitness after you complete your degree and what are some of the challenges?
"The challenges to pursuing a career in nutrition and fitness include increased competition, having the right people skills, and getting patient buy-in. Wellness is a growing field and there is abundant competition among nutritionists. Give yourself a competitive advantage by brushing up on other skills. Read books on topics outside of nutrition, learn more about the insurance/financial side of medicine, and improve your organization skills constantly.
Nutritionists and fitness experts can also set themselves apart by having the right people skills and making sure they handle their patients/clients with the utmost respect. Lastly, it's common for clinicians and fitness experts to hear “I know what to do; I’m just not doing it" from clients. It is of utmost priority that your patients understand that their "why" must be greater than their "what."
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Jewels Lett, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Marathon Health
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