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Nutritionists help to advance an understanding of how diet affects the health and wellbeing of people and animals.

Nutritionists provide information on food and healthy eating and can work in a range of areas, including in public health, in the private sector and in education and research. Unlike dietitians who primarily work with people who are ill or whose health is affected by conditions such as food allergies, malnutrition or diabetes, nutritionists mostly work with people who are healthy. They may be involved in educating individuals or groups or in forming policy to shape nutritional advice. The amount of direct contact they have with members of the public depends on the precise nature of the role.

Key responsibilities of the job include:

  • researching how the body's functions are affected by nutrient supply

  • investigating the relationship between genes and nutrients

  • studying how diet affects metabolism

  • examining the process of nourishment and the association between diet, disease and health

  • providing health advice and promoting healthy eating

  • advising about special diets

  • educating health professionals and the public about nutrition

  • working as part of a multidisciplinary team/supporting the work of other health care professionals


Qualifications and training required


There is no set entry route to becoming a nutritionist. You will need a relevant first degree in order to apply for an accredited postgraduate qualification. These include masters qualifications in areas such as international nutrition, public health nutrition and sport and exercise nutrition. Requirements vary, but a medical or science degree, particularly in a biological science, is likely to be an advantage.


Key skills for nutritionists


  • Teamworking skills

  • Keen interest in the impact of diet on health

  • Good interpersonal skills

  • Communication skills, including the ability to explain complex things simply

  • An understanding of science

  • Able to motivate others

  • Business skills for freelance work


Typical employers of nutritionists


  • National and local government (health and food departments)

  • Hospitals

  • Schools

  • Colleges

  • Universities

  • Food and animal feed manufacturers and retailers

  • Sports and exercise industry


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How to become a Nutritionists?

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