Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are being celebrated as leaders in improving America’s nutritional health on March 12. The date is designated as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The entire month of March is National Nutrition Month® and Beyond. The theme of the month, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” draws focus on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Registered Dietitians are the providers of food and nutrition information and services geared towards helping people enjoy healthy lives.
“Finding balance in life is what registered dietitians strive for – they are trained to address the nutrition and health needs of individuals, families, schools, and communities and enhance lives and well-being.” according to Marilynn Schnepf, professor of Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
RDs work in such areas as public health, food service, private practice, and business & industry. Within the profession the next step or need is for registered dietitians with the ability to critically evaluate and apply research concepts and to understand public policy and current systems of health care delivery to advance the profession of dietetics.
To address the expanding needs of the profession 8 universities worked together within the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance to create a fully online graduate degree (link to http://online.unl.edu/programs-and-courses/graduate-doctorate-programs/nutrition-health-dietetics.aspx) program that prepares the next generation of leaders within the dietetics profession. Professor Schnepf said, “Health and wellness are such integral parts of our lifestyles that RDs are being asked to do more and are expected to know more than ever before. The online Master of Science program is designed to provide working RDs with the opportunity to continue their educations while still maintaining their work and home obligations.”
In an April 2013 article for the industry magazine, Advertising Age, E.J. Schultz declared that the next big marketing weapon for supermarkets is the dietitian. The services and knowledge of a registered dietitian are currently available in over 50 supermarket chains.
As the profession evolves, research expands knowledge, and consumers demand better information the future for people working in the Dietetics and Nutrition industries looks bright.
***NOTE: All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
More details at: http://go.unl.edu/hexu