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Nutrition and Wellness Careers

Nutrition and wellness careers focus on the health of patients, athletes and other clients. Specialists in the field are experts in proper diet and healthy living strategies that help clients recover from illnesses or maintain strategic wellness plans. Some nutritionists and dietitians work with private clients, while others work in the public sector with hospitals or community health organizations. Most nutrition and wellness careers require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in nutrition or dietetics, but some recreation and fitness centers might have less formal academic requirements. Most states require dietitians and nutritionists to obtain a license to practice.

Medical Center or Nursing Home Wellness Coordinators

Wellness coordinators often work at hospitals, medical facilities or nursing homes and create nutrition programs for sick, recovering or elderly patients. Some patients have medical conditions such as diabetes, allergies, high blood pressure or digestive issues that restrict their food intake and the types of foods they can eat. Nutrition and wellness coordinators design menu options and calculate appropriate portions for patients. They ensure patients receive the necessary calories, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins from the various food groups. Patients who are recovering from surgery often require meal programs that slowly help them readjust to food consumption.

Dieticians and Nutritionists

Dietitians and nutritionists work with patients and clients to formulate healthy eating practices. They counsel underweight and overweight clients on ways to promote healthy eating habits. Dietitians and nutritionists design menus to meet individual taste preferences and help clients understand the importance of healthy, balanced food consumption. Some also prescribe safe and manageable exercise routines to encourage overall wellness. They must keep up with current nutritional science findings. Dietitians and nutritionists keep logs of their patients' nutritional and dietary concerns, so they can adjust menus and report progress to patients' primary care physicians.

Health Educators and Community Wellness Program Directors

Some nutrition and wellness specialists work as health educators and wellness program directors to inform the public of important health and dietary issues. For example, health educators might host nutrition seminars at local schools, public libraries or public health centers. Because nutrition and wellness workers aren't clinical doctors, they can't prescribe medications or medical treatments, but they can promote healthy lifestyle options. They often advise clients on appropriate meal plans, fitness programs, stress management techniques and healthy lifestyle choices, such as avoiding smoking, illegal substances and excessive alcohol consumption.

Fitness and Wellness Trainers

Some nutrition and wellness workers focus on the recreational side of healthy living. They work as fitness instructors, parks and recreation specialists, physical education teachers, wellness coaches or camp fitness and nutrition experts. Fitness and wellness trainers work at fitness centers, gyms, schools and summer camps and help children and adults maintain healthy eating and fitness routines. Some work one-on-one with individual clients, while others conduct classes or supervise large groups. Fitness and wellness coaches and trainers create plans to motivate clients to exercise and eat healthy meals.



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