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How to Become a Dietitian in India?

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Do you ever question your eating habits by checking the nutritional content of every food item before consuming it? Does educating people about proper nutrition and eating habits excite you? If the answer is yes, as a young aspiring nutritionist a career as a dietician would suit you well. 

Dieticians are counselors who assess and rate their client’s eating patterns and then help them develop a balanced diet based on various dietetic and nutritional concepts. They work with nutrition science and use that understanding in the fields of healthcare and rehabilitation. This article will help you discover how to become a nutritionist or dietitian in India and kickstart your rewarding nutrition career. Explore qualifications, programs, and steps to start your journey. 

Table of Contents 

What is a Dietitian? 

An expert in recognizing and treating disease-related malnutrition as well as undertaking medical nutrition therapy, such as creating an enteral tube feeding schedule or minimizing the symptoms of cancer cachexia, is a dietitian, medical dietitian, or dietician. Many dietitians work in hospitals and typically meet certain patients when a doctor or nurse requests a nutritional assessment and intervention, such as if a patient has lost the capacity to swallow or needs artificial nourishment due to intestinal failure. Healthcare practitioners with a license to evaluate, identify, and address these issues include dietitians. 

A bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics (or an equivalent degree) are required for registration as a registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist. Additionally, one or more clinical rotations or internships must be performed. These can be requested independently or can be allocated and overseen by the institution as a part of the organized degree plan. 

How to Become a Dietician in India? 

If you want to know how to become a dietician in India listed below will help you understand: 

  1. Pass the 12th grade in any field of study (science with biology is preferred). 
  2. Pursue a B.Sc. in food technology or a B.Sc. in nutrition. 
  3. Consider pursuing an M.Sc. in Food and Nutrition or a PG Diploma in Nutrition. 
  4. To get the Registered Dietician license from the IDA, you must complete a 6-month internship and pass the Registered Dietician entrance exam. 

Become a Dietician: Stream and Subjects in Class 12th  

You can choose any stream for your class 12 studies, but the science stream (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) is highly advised because it offers up more course options and employment possibilities. Additionally, focusing on human physiology in Biology as a subject will help you establish a foundation. 

Programs After 12th Standard

In India, you can major in a variety of degrees to become a dietician, including a B.Sc. in nutrition and a B.Sc. in home science. All of these undergraduate programs have merit-based admission requirements. 

1. B.Sc. / B.A. Nutrition 

It is a 3-year study that covers a wide range of subjects, including human physiology, the fundamentals of nutrition, food biotechnology, health, weight loss techniques, etc. The degree not only emphasizes general health but also offers knowledge in areas like maternity and child nutrition, public health, etc. Additionally, you will learn about the basics of the bakery, food and quality analysis, and other topics. By the end of the course, you will have received training in creating personalized weight loss plans and diet charts. 

2. B.Sc. Food Technology 

The proper handling of food is the main topic of this three-year course. The process through which various food science principles are applied to the choice, preservation, packaging, and secure delivery of food is known as food technology. You will learn about the fundamentals of food technology, the foundations of food science, nutrition, food processing and engineering, food preparation, etc. during the course. You will also receive training in the assessment and testing of food quality. Understanding the science underlying food and nutrition will be made easier by taking this Nutrition courses, which will also give you access to a variety of possibilities outside of nutrition. 

Programs After Bachelor’s Degree 

Following graduation, you can choose to pursue a Master’s degree in Food and nutrition or one of the postgraduate degrees in nutrition and dietetics (such as the Post-Graduate Diploma in Dietetics & Public Health Nutrition). To give yourself a competitive edge in the employment market, it is highly advised that you seek a master’s degree. With the help of internships and research, the degree provides you with both academic knowledge and real-world experience. Additionally, the themes are covered in more depth. 

1. M.Sc in Food and Nutrition 

You have the opportunity to select your area of expertise from a variety of food and nutrition-related topics in post-graduate programs, including Clinical Health (working with clinical patients), Child/Adolescents, Public Health, Food Processing, etc. Advanced Human Nutrition, Therapeutic Nutrition, Food Science, Quality Control, etc. are the main topics of the course. An internship lasting 6 to 8 months must be finished.  You’ll be required to work in various capacities and go through a demanding training process. 

Another extremely significant and vital component of the course is the dissertation.  A dissertation is a condensed study project in which you choose a topic of interest and carry out research on it. You will be exposed to the research side of the subject, providing you the ability to put what you learn in your textbooks into practice. Exams administered by separate institutions serve as the entry point for admission to the various postgraduate programs. 

2. Post Graduate Diploma 

Postgraduate degrees typically last one year and are quite thorough. You will learn the foundations of public nutrition, therapeutic nutrition, public health nutrition, and institutional food management in these courses. These are some of the fundamental components of these courses, however, course formats vary amongst universities. The majority of them conclude with a 7-8 week-long required internship at a healthcare facility. Programs for the PG Diploma are selectively admitted. 

A postgraduate diploma suffices in the majority of circumstances, but an M.Sc. would be a preferable choice if you wish to study in-depth and complete a dissertation at the post-graduate level. A PG Diploma will do if all you want to do is get your Registered Dietician Licence. 

Becoming a Dietician: College and Institutes 

Here are a few colleges for B.A, B.Sc., PG Diploma, and M.Sc. Courses in food and nutrition: 

  • Lady Irwin College (New Delhi) 
  • Institute of Home Economics, (New Delhi) 
  • SNDT Women’s University (Mumbai) 
  • Women’s Christian College (Chennai) 
  • All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Nirmala Niketan (Mumbai)

Difference Between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist in India 

Dietician and nutritionist are two words that are frequently used interchangeably; however, they have different jobs and educational backgrounds. Nutritionists are experts who provide people with advice on the kinds and amounts of food they should eat in order to gain or lose weight. A Nutritionist career in India can be pursued once you complete your education in this field. Your nutritionist career in India can be challenging as every person can have a different lifestyle basis on which the nutritionist can offer guidance. 

Once you start pursuing your goal of having a nutritionist career in India you can work as a Clinical Nutritionist, Paediatric Nutritionist, Sports Nutritionist, Consultant Nutritionist, Public Health Nutritionist, etc. If you wonder about how to become a nutritionist in India this will help you. 

In contrast, dietitians are professionals who advise patients (including those receiving medical care in hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) about the proper types of nutritional intake.  For instance, the needs of someone recovering from a vehicle accident would differ from those of someone with cancer. They specialize in nutrition for various demographic groups, particularly clinical patients. However, nutritionists are not permitted to practice as dieticians and vice versa. There are various courses for dieticians as mentioned above and the dietitian course fees vary from college to college. The average dietitian salary in India is 4.3 LPA. Knowing what a dietician does can help you better understand how to get a license to practice independently, which will help you further your career. 

How to Become a Registered Dietitian?

You will be referred to as a nutritionist once you have earned your undergraduate degree and postgraduate diploma. It is necessary to register as a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association in order to be referred to as a dietician. 

You must pass the admission test offered by the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) to become a Registered Dietician. To be qualified for the exam, you must have either finished a Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics or an M.Sc. in Food & Nutrition, followed by a 6-month internship following graduation. 

There are two papers in the test. Human Physiology, Biochemistry, Physiologic and Metabolic Changes in Disease, Food Microbiology, Sanitation and Hygiene, and other topics are covered in Paper 1. Paper 2 covers food services management, community nutrition, diet therapy (theory), nutrition education, and dietitian counseling. It also covers human nutrition and meal management. 

Conclusion 

We have answered your question of how to become a dietician in India. The information included above will assist you in beginning your career as a dietician. Dietitian salary in India is based on a variety of factors, including experience, education, and future employment prospects. The dietitian course fees vary from college to college. 

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