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Nutrition

The Breakdown

We see headlines about it all the time. Blueberries help reverse the signs of aging. Artificial sugars might cause cancer. Coffee can combat hangovers. The food we put in our bodies can have beneficial or harmful effects. With a growing obesity epidemic and rising health care costs, it’s vital that we truly begin to take stock of our eating habits and the relationship we have with food. As a nutrition major, you’ll be at the forefront of this critical dialogue.

Nutrition is the study of how the food we eat affects our health and well-being. Indeed diet factors heavily into our development as well as both the prevention and treatment of diseases. If you major in nutrition, you’ll learn about the optimal intake of specific food groups and appropriate portion sizes. More importantly, you’ll gain a strong foundation in the sciences taking a number of biology, anatomy and chemistry courses. You’ll learn how to analyze the components and nutritional value of food products and how they interact with the body. Additionally, you will examine food through a social science lens, studying the impact it has on our economy, psychology, culture and community.

Nutrition majors will need to rely on strong analytical and statistical skills. Communication skills are also essential as this is a people-centered field. Candidates should demonstrate a keen interest in biology and chemistry. And it doesn’t hurt if you have an altruistic bent.

Nuts and Bolts

If you decide to major in nutrition, it’s quite possible you’ll see these classes in your course catalogue: Food Preservation, Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrition and Chronic Disease, Organic Chemistry, Food and Culture, Exercise Nutrition and Supplements, Intro to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism, Eating Disorders and Weight Management, Nutrition Education in the Community and Food Systems Operations.

Decisions, Decisions

Nutrition majors frequently take classes in and consider studying biology, chemistry, human development, sociology, public health, psychology, nursing, gerontology, food science, child development, microbiology and neuroscience.

What's Next

Majoring in nutrition can lead a variety of exciting career and employment opportunities. While most graduates tend to seek a profession that somehow incorporates (or relates to) food, there are many paths you can take. Certainly a handful of students become dieticians and nutritionists, counseling clients and helping them make healthier choices. Many choose to focus on target demographics, such as diabetes patients or those with eating disorders. Some find positions as food scientists, analyzing and improving preservation and processing techniques. Others might find work with catering companies or test kitchens. Still others land positions as food service coordinators, educators and even food writers/reporters.


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