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Career As A Nutritionist - Episode 2

Whenever you fall sick, there is one advise which every doctor gives you and that is to improve your diet. We all know this mantra of 70% diet and 30% exercise which equals good health. We talk of nutraceuticals and supplements, but in this video Dr. Chirag’s focus is on career as a nutritionist.

What are the types of specializations in Nutrition?

Nutrition is divided into two classifications – Clinical Nutrition and Sports Nutrition. Clinical Nutrition refers to the branch where we include nutrition related to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and nutrition for hospitalized patients. How these cases are provided with diet regime which helps them improve their health conditions – the nutritionist who handles such cases are called Clinical Nutritionist. When India is becoming diabetic capital of the world, Clinical Nutrionists have scope and role in contributing their best to the field.

Sports Nutrition refers to the field where sports athletes are given special nutrition to increase their performance in sports. This is an underrated career field because day by day with the advent of Fit India and Khelo India initiatives, sports nutrition is gaining popularity and is needed by the sports industry. All athletes want their performance to increase by micro seconds and good sports specific nutrition has a huge role in doing the same along with their training. Without good nutrition, their training won’t yield desired results. Dr. Chirag quotes his example where he gave sports nutrition advise to Khel Ratna awardee Padma Shri Deepa Malik and it helped her perform very well given her health condition.

What are the types of courses available?

  1. Certificate Courses – Duration of 2-3 months
  2. Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics – Duration 1 year
  3. BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics – Duration 3 years
  4. MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics – Duration 2 years
  5. Phd in Nutrition and Dietetics

Dr. Chirag Sethi tells that how Nutrition is a vast subject of formal study and the time duration invested can range from 2 months to 10 years!

How to choose between Clinical Nutrionistor  Sports Nutrionist?

It purely depends on interest, if a person is interested in working with people with special needs such as people who have got diabetes, hypertension and cancer then of course, the field of choice is Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Chirag says to manifest the power of food to heal a person is a field which is very much in demand looking at the ever growing health sector.

On the other hand, if a person is interested in increasing physical performance of sports players and if that person is thrilled at the thought of their athlete winning medals due to his performance then the goal should be Sports Nutrition like it is in the case of Dr. Chirag himself. Here, you have to study the sports specific requirement for that specific player. For example in cricket, nutritional requirement of a batsman, a fielder and a bowler will be different. Even supplements will be different for each of them. Nutritionists can prescribe supplements.

What is the scope of earning in this field?

Unlike yesteryears, when nutritionists and dietitians had only two choices – either to work in an hospital or open a private clinic; today, there are many avenues to explore such as with Supplement companies. Supplement companies which are worth a billion dollars need qualified nutritionists who can spread product awareness about their brands among the targeted masses. Apart from this, there are apps which hire nutritionists. Another lesser known field to generate business is product review on digital platforms. The scope is unlimited – work with athletes, nutrition companies, apps, own digital review platforms, run a clinic and work with hospitals.

What is the skill-set required?

You have to focus on Indian diets for Indian people. For example, olive oil is meant to be taken on as it is and not for cooking purposes or frying purposes for that matter and it is solely the result of copying the Mediterranean diet in Indian setting that has led to cooking of dishes in olive oil thinking that it is healthy. Hence, it is important to customize diet plans according to Indian kitchen. You have to give an affordable diets to Indians as well.

What is the growth prospective is this field?

After working for a company, you can become an entrepreneur. You can work on your own product and reach out to the international market with it. There is a continuous research, continuous flow of products in this field and a limited number of people are working with sports athletes in the world. The world could use more of them to enhance performance. Build your online presence and keep yourself updated with the latest research in this field. Both things will help you reap maximum results in your career growth and establishing your own personal professional brand.

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