Mueller College of Holistic Studies

Mueller College offers a wide range of holistic health subjects such as massage therapy, hypnotherapy, herbology, reflexology, Reiki, nutrition, and Eastern and Asian modalities.

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Careers in the Nutrition Field Overview

Nutritionists promote healthy eating and recommend dietary changes in order to help prevent and treat illness. They plan food and nutrition programs in hospitals, nursing care facilities, physicians' offices, and other health care providers. Some nutritionists specialize in the care of diabetic patients or renal patients. There are also job opportunities in food manufacturing, wellness programs, sports teams, and home health agencies. Nutritionists strive to improve a patient's quality of life by having him follow a healthy diet.

History of Nutrition Careers

There is evidence that Hippocrates first recognized the value of nutrition to good health in the 4th century B.C. In the 18th century, Dr. James Lind wrote about the positive effects of fresh fruit on scurvy, a deadly disease which afflicted many sailors in the British navy at the time. About the same time, Antoine Lavoisier, a French scientist, discovered the process by which food is actually metabolized. The 20th century was when most of the discoveries about nutrition were made. In recent years, medical schools began requiring courses in nutrition for their student physicians.

Current/Future Situation

There is increasing interest in promoting good nutrition as a way to prevent and treat disease. With the current epidemic of obesity and resulting prevalence of diabetes in the population, job prospects for nutritionists will continue to be good. There are about 57,000 jobs in nutrition at the current time and employment opportunities are expected to grow about 9% through 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition.

Career Descriptions/Places to Work as a Nutritionist

There are a variety of places nutritionists can work. Hospitals and nursing care facilities employ many in this field, but opportunities exist in physicians' offices, public health clinics, home health agencies, wellness programs, and sports teams.

Most nutritionists work full time, a regular 40 hour week. Some work part time, and some work weekends. A few are self-employed consultants to healthcare facilities or to individuals.

The median annual earnings for nutritionists is approximately $47,000, and the highest 10% earn about $68,000 annually.

Day in the Life of a Nutritionist

A nutritionist who works in a hospital typically starts her day by reviewing her patients' dietary requirements for the day. She then plans their menus depending on each one's special needs taking into account the disease or other reason for hospitalization. The nutritionist often visits patients to educate them about proper nutrition before they leave the hospital. She may also consult the patient's physician in order to help coordinate care and ensure the patient's return to health.

Graduate/Professional Quote

"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." – Hippocrates.

Stat/Fact/Tip of the Day

Those interested in becoming a nutritionist should take courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and communications. A bachelor's degree is required; suggested college courses include biochemistry, nutrition, microbiology, physiology, and psychology. Internships are usually part of the program to assure practical experience.

Some states require licensing of nutritionists.

Good communication skills, attention to details, and the desire to help people are necessary qualities for nutritionists.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition