What is a Nutritionist?
The title of nutritionist is not a legally sanctioned one in all of the states in the US but it is a rapidly growing medical career that offers individuals the opportunity to work in many different settings and with very diverse sectors of the general population. You can find white coated clinical nutritionists on the staffs of major hospitals and other medical care facilities while others can actually be found working in a kitchen setting, wearing an apron. Wherever they may work though all nutritionists have one thing in common – the expertise and knowledge to help people make sensible decisions about the foods they eat to help them stay as healthy as possible.
While doctors, nurses and their assistants help people who are ill regain their health but a good nutritionist can help them avoid getting sick in the first place. Assisting an overweight individual attain a healthier weight for instance is safer and less expensive than riskier procedures such as gastric bypass.
A clinical nutritionist can utilize laboratory tests and a wide range of technologies to analyze a patients metabolism and the way their bodies actually utilize the food they take in to create a diet plan that meets their unique needs allowing them to lead a healthier life in general.
There are other nutritionists whose work consists mainly of spending their time pouring over the reams of information that is published every year about the potential benefits and dangers posed by certain foods. Confusingly many times these various reports and stories tend to directly contradict each other and is a nutritionist’s job to try and determine the fact from the fiction.
Nutritionists in the Community
Some individuals who train as nutritionists work within the food industry itself. Some work with both government agencies and food manufacturers to ensure that processed foods meet the strict guidelines that have been set forth by agencies like the FDA. Others are employed by larger restaurants to advise chefs about a selecting the best ingredients for their customers from a health stand point. There are also even private nutritionists, people employed by individuals to oversee their diets on a daily basis (a lot of big Hollywood stars have their own nutritionist for instance)