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People opting for a career in Dietetics and Nutrition should study home science or dietetics and nutrition, food science/technology courses at the graduate and postgraduate levels.

Candidates desiring to seek admission to the course in Bachelor course in Nutrition & Dietetics are required to have a pass in the Higher Secondary Examination or Plus two in science subjects covering physics, chemistry, home science and biology. Besides a B.Sc in Nutrition & Dietetics, other preferable fields of graduation are Home Science, food science and technology, Medicine, Hotel management or Catering Technology.

The three-year B.Sc. Home science courses covers subjects including food and nutrition. Several universities or colleges offer B.Sc. and M.Sc. Courses in Home science. Four year Food technology courses after Plus two in the science stream are also available in a few colleges and institutions.

In the post graduation level, Dietetics and nutrition course can be either 2 year Masters programs or 1 year Post Graduate Diploma (Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition (DDPHN).Those with Bachelors degree in food science, home science, hotel management & catering technology, microbiology, biochemistry and medicine are eligible for Post Graduate level Degrees or Diplomas. In a 2 year M.Sc. Home Science course, one can specialise in food science and nutrition.M.Sc. home science course includes biochemistry, physiology, biostatistics, research methods, investigation into nutrition, human nutritional requirements, food microbiology and principles of food science in the first year, human nutrition and dietetics, institutional management and food science are included in the final year.

The one year DDPHN course has a compulsory three-month internship, working in a hospital under a qualified dietician. Subjects of study covered during the DDPHN training include biochemistry, nutrition, applied physiology, food, microbiology, administration, therapeutic nutrition, and public health nutrition. After doing Post graduation programme, one can also go in for PhD and do Research in Food and Nutrition.

The National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad www.icmr.nic.in/000229/nin.htm is a premier institute under Indian Council of Medical Research, www.icmr.nic.in an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Government of India, that offers regular nutrition training courses every year .

Those who take a doctorate degree in the area can aim at a better career in the research /academic fields. The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad www.jntu.ac.in offers research facilities for Ph.D. in food technology. Postgraduates in chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, home science, agriculture, horticulture, food technology, food science and nutrition, veterinary science, M.Tech in chemical/ diary/agri/ food technology are eligible for admission.

Personal qualities - A good dietitian or nutritionist should have an interest in food and food preparation. Good communication skills to communicate with people individually and in groups and good writing skills for producing reports, leaflets etc are essential. One should have patience and genuine concern for fellow beings. They should also have planning and administrative skills and organizational ability. Dietitians need to be fit and healthy and able to work as a team member.

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