Dietetics is the book by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard that launched a fringe spiritual movement. No, wait. Sorry. That’s Dianetics. Dietetics is a burgeoning professional field that combines practical skills and research in food and health with education about food intake and food choices. Think of Dietetics as the psychology of food. Sure, Dietetics majors study nutrition. In fact, they study it quite a lot. But they also study people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward food and eating habits. And what with swift innovations in medical research – not to mention perpetually rising healthcare costs and consumer demands – it’s a field that has become increasingly complex. Registered dietitians assess nutritional needs, treat dietary problems, and help prevent diseases through counseling about sound dietary practices and fitness. They also manage food service in health care and commercial settings. They are educators, therapists, consultants, and managers who work in hospitals, cafeterias, and large corporations. Any Dietetics program worth its salt is going to be accredited by the American Dietetic Association. To become a registered dietitian, you’ve got to complete an ADA-approved curriculum and pass the National Registered Dietitian Exam. Once you do, you should find a solid and growing job market waiting for you.
If you are thinking about majoring in Dietetics, take chemistry and biology courses as well as a home economics course or two. You also want to know your way around a lab as well as possible.