Reply To: Ask the experts
Thank you for your reply, yes I have looked at a number of options and have settled on dietetics for a number of reasons. I have been researching this pathway for a while and at least in Australia the term nutritionist is not a regulated term. As a result the quality of nutritionists vary greatly, some have only done online courses for a couple of weeks and call themselves nutritionists.
I’ve seen a ‘nutritionist’ go on one of our TV morning shows and talk about a ‘study’ that said eating chocolate daily made you lose weight – seriously. Now it turns out this study was a prank (to make a point about the media not researching nutrition studies before reporting on them), and this ‘nutritionist’ was not qualified to read the medical literature or comment on this study – but she just wanted her face on the TV. Health coaches tends to have the same problem, it’s even more vague than a nutritionist and for me it’s just not a credible health profession – I know that sounds harsh, but that’s truly how I feel about them.
A dietitian is more regulated and more respected within the industry, plus has to be university educated. There are also more job opportunities for dieticians since they can do everything a nutritionist can do, I have a family friend who is a lecturer in nutrition at a university and she strongly recommended not becoming a nutritionist due to the job market and credibility.
One thing I thought of doing while I study is be a nutrition or food assistant in a health setting, this doesn’t require qualifications beyond a food handling certificate, but is a good way to start working in the nutrition and dietetics industry before being fully qualified.