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What is Nutrition Science?
Nutrition science is the area of study that deals with the effect of food on human and animals, particularly in regards to health, mental health, behavior, and metabolism. Individuals in this field will be responsible for understanding the various effects different foods may have on a given individual and apply that knowledge to a variety of possible functions, including health care, research, safety and other such applications.
Individuals seeking a degree in nutrition science will typically seek out at minimum a bachelor's degree, with programs preparing students for careers that involve the use of nutrition science. Higher level degrees offer more options, including research positions and teaching opportunities. Programs require students to understand the effect of food on the body through the use of multiple scientific disciplines. Individuals should have strong science and math backgrounds when considering this field.
A curriculum may include courses in:
- Nutrition and Health
- Metabolism and Digestion
Individuals who complete a bachelor's degree in nutrition science will be able to pursue employment in a number of areas relating to health and nutrition. Some may choose to become private nutritionists, others may work with community or other government programs to promote awareness, some may work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices as registered dietitians who assist individuals in finding a diet that best serves the specific needs of the clients. Individuals with higher levels of education may take on research positions, either through private firms or in conjunction with educational institutions or government agencies.
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
Job growth for nutrition science related professions is expected to remain steady over the next decade. Opportunities will increase as demand for better health becomes more common place. Greater opportunities will be found in densely populated areas, and urban centers due to the higher concentration of individuals seeking better nutrition. The average salary of a nutritional scientist is approximately $53,000 annually, and varies based on education, certification, location and experience.