The need for skilled nutritionists is at an all time high due to alarming rates of obesity in America, and many young careerists investigate the degree needed to become a nutritionist. A nutritionist analyzes a clients' health needs and food consumption to recommend the ideal dietary lifestyle for optimal health. These recommendations are sometimes used to maintain vibrant health, but more often they are given to help clients correct health issues and rebalance their systems. Successful nutritionists require extensive problem solving, analytical and interpersonal skills, and they often develop these skills while participating in university degree programs. Aspiring nutritionists consider their specialized areas of interest, unique state requirements for the career field and future professional goals when choosing nutrition degree programs. Here are some popular degree options for future nutritionists.
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Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science
The most popular degree for those planning to enter the field of nutrition is an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. Students who enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nutrition Science can usually specialize in areas like community or sports nutrition depending on the school chosen. The four year degree introduces students to important course topics like human metabolism, clinical nutrition, biochemistry and nutrition counseling. Accredited undergraduate programs in nutrition science are available in both traditional and online formats to accommodate all types of student schedules. The degree program's course topics are comprehensive enough to prepare students for many states' certification requirements for nutritionists. Upon degree program completion, students are prepared for entry level careers as nutritionists or to take the next step to become registered dieticians.
Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition
People are more concerned with the quality of their food and methods of production than ever before. Organic and natural foods have become the gold standards on smart menus, because of widespread education about potential health hazards from synthethic fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives found in conventional foods, according to The Atlantic. An undergraduate degree in holistic nutrition is the alternative health care community's response to conventional medical nutritional training. This degree covers the foundational nutritional principles that are based in the physical sciences, but it also includes course topics on herbal supplementation, stress management and emotional wellness. Many programs teach research methods, and students use those skills to analyze the impacts on the human body of the replacement of chemically ladened and processed conventional foods and with organic alternatives.
Bachelor of Science in Animal and Nutritional Sciences
A popular niche nutrition market is found within animal care. People love their pets and treat them as members of their families. It is only natural that their attention would be drawn to making their pets healthy once they have discovered the secrets of wellness through proper nutrition for themselves. However, the nutritional needs of the family pet differ greatly from those of their human caretakers. Students who enroll in an animal and nutritional science degree program study the various physiological features of animal breeds and their food to generate nutritional plans to help correct ailments and maintain animal health. Typical course topics for this degree program include animal reproduction physiology, biology and nutrition research methods. More degree options are available for those who major in animal science with a concentration in nutrition.
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Since dietary researchers continue to make discoveries about the way that food impacts the body physically and mentally, continuous education and training is the key to a successful career in nutrition. Although an undergraduate degree is the level of degree needed to become a nutritionist, those who pursue advanced and doctoral degrees in this field are rewarded with greater job opportunities within industry and academia.