Nutrition is the science of foods and the nutritional constituents and other substances they contain, as well as their functions within the body including the ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism and excretion.
It also broadly includes the social, economic, cultural and psychological implications of food intake – and there has never been a better time to choose it as a career path. As Australians become increasingly health conscious, there is a growing awareness of nutrition and a demand for experts in the field
“Food, nutrition and health are fundamental to wellbeing at every stage of life. In choosing to study nutrition, students can make improvements that will support individuals, communities and entire populations, and make a meaningful difference,” says Dr Katie Canteri, Program Director of Nutrition at Torrens University Australia, specialising in human nutrition and chronic disease.
Dr Canteri is also an Accredited practising dietitian and nutrition researcher who has been working in the nutrition industry for more than 7 years, with experience in the clinical management of chronic diseases, food service management, nutrition education, human research and customer service & sales. Her research interests include nutrition and ageing, obesity and metabolic health, and public health nutrition education.
“Consuming a balanced diet is important for overall health and wellbeing. The food that we eat provides us with energy, vitamins and minerals which in turn helps ensure our bodies are able to grow, live and function efficiently. We should aim to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods that provide adequate amounts of nutrients including macronutrients and micronutrients to promote good health. While an unhealthy diet or poor health can increase the risk of diet-related diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many more,” she says.
An understanding of nutrition is not only a benefit to your own health, however; studying it can also help graduates contribute to the eradication of serious health issues around the world.
“The prevalence of diet-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes continues to rise within Western Society. These chronic diseases contribute to morbidity and mortality within developed and developing countries. However the majority of diet-related diseases are preventable through lifestyle modification,” Dr Canteri notes.
“Lifestyle behaviours, food intake and obesity are significantly associated with the development of chronic diseases. Correspondingly, there is a growing demand for qualified health professionals with the capacity to provide dietary and nutritional interventions to individuals, communities and populations to promote wellness and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases. Clinical nutritionists are able to assist their patients to achieve good health, through the therapeutic management of lifestyle related conditions. Public health nutritionists are able to devise and implement public health nutrition initiatives within communities and populations to address nutritional related disease and health maintenance,” she said.
Torrens University Australia currently offers two evidence-based nutrition programs that will provide students with the knowledge and skills to work in a range of occupations, including private practice, industry or public health and community settings to make a real difference in society.
The Diploma of Nutrition is ideal for those seeking to enter the health industry or for a professional development opportunity. Career outcomes for graduates include nutritional advisor, weight loss advisor, pharmacy assistant, sales and marketing advisor and industry advisor.
The Bachelor of Nutrition will provide students with a solid foundational and advanced knowledge of Nutrition from a Community and Public Health perspective enabling them to progress towards a successful and rewarding career within the nutrition, public health and wellbeing industry.
Employment opportunities include working in the public health sector as a Health Promotion Officer or Public Health Nutritionist, or operating as a Private Nutritional Advisor. Graduates may seek employment in the area of health promotion, health education, product development, nutritional counselling, policy development, public relations (with pharmaceutical companies) and community health.
These courses are fully online, flexible and designed around the principles of the flipped classroom allowing students to learn through doing, not just listening. Guided by an expert, students will experience a much more interactive and collaborative learning environment to consolidate and apply what they have learnt.