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Great Accomplishments in Nutrition

Let’s take a look back at a sampling of the major accomplishments and hot topics of the last decade registered dieticians (RDs).

The first major accomplishment, for example is that there are many more career opportunities available today than there were just 10 years ago.

Working in a hospital used to be the only path to follow after school, says Cynthia Sass, an RD from New York City. “Nontraditional jobs in dietetics have really taken off,” says Sass. “Just ten years ago, the majority of RDs worked in clinical settings, but today, we are all entrepreneurial: dietitians are in private practice and in specialties. I work for professional sports teams, but other dietitians have been hired by food companies, public relations firms, and many other types of companies in multiple industries. The sky’s the limit now.”

Cholesterol and Fat

Ten years ago, dietitians were still trying to understand fat and its impact on cholesterol levels. “I’ve been in the field for around 15 years. When I started out, we were not talking about all the types of fats and even fats within fats,” says Sass. “Now we are breaking it down more than ever and realizing that certain types of fats might not be as bad as others, and as a result, we’re fine-tuning our idea of how certain fats impact cholesterol.”

New findings continually emerge--it’s no longer so cut and dried as fat is bad for you. “I’ve found the consumer is still very confused about fats,” says Sass. “Just the other day, I was at Barnes & Noble and saw a magazine on the shelf with a headline that said, ‘Fat will make you thin.’

In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have come to the forefront for their effect on cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and brain and nerve health, adds Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of Ask the Dietitian. “The consumption of fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel twice a week is now encouraged for omega-3s,” she says.

Diabetes

Toward the end of 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first-ever state-by-state review of new diagnoses and found that in the last ten years, the rate of new diabetes cases in the US has nearly doubled.

Of those cases, approximately 90% are type two diabetics, which is linked to obesity. “There are a number of reasons for this,” says Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDE, a diabetes educator.

“Our diets certainly aren’t better than they were ten years ago, our waistlines are getting bigger; if you’re carrying extra fat around your midsection, you’re at a higher risk for diabetes.”

In 200, it was reported that inhaled insulin may make “skin pricks a thing of the past by the year 2001.” It was predicted that: “On the horizon is inhaled insulin, which could be a welcome relief for these diabetics.”

Ironically, however, inhaled insulin was just recently pulled from the market. It was way too complicated for patients, reportedly.

Disease Prevention

In 2000, a nutrition trade magazine revealed a budding trend of dietitians and research investigating “functional foods” (i.e., medicinal foods), but cautioned that consumers needed more education on the subject. Over the next few years, the term became more common and, in 2003, it was reported that: “In general, eating an array of whole foods may be one of the best strategies for disease prevention.”

Going Green

In 2002 and 2003, articles on farming and the rise of organic foods came out, as more consumers were beginning to show interest in local, fresh, whole foods. While going green isn’t exactly a new concept, what is new is that the trend toward eating local and organic foods has gone completely mainstream.

“Natural and organic foods is a huge topic today,” noted Sass. “The interest in clean, pure food has been phenomenal. I’m shocked that it’s happened so quickly; it’s only been about five years since it really made it onto consumers’ radar and, in the last year or two, it has just exploded.”

Vegetarianism

In the last ten years, vegetarianism has moved from the fringe to a lifestyle and green environmental choice. The number of vegetarian foods has exploded, with the versatile soybean as the primary protein source.

Years ago, there were fewer vegetarians. Some may have considered eliminating meat from the diet a strange lifestyle choice. It was harder to get a vegetarian alternative at events, on airlines, and at many restaurants.

But today it’s a standard in the Western world, and being a vegetarian has become practically commonplace. One contributing factor may be that the research has shown you can still meet all of your dietary needs as a vegetarian, and we know that you can carry a healthy pregnancy as a vegetarian, of course.

The field of dietetics has certainly come a very long way and seen many changes in the last decade. It’s difficult to even imagine where we’ll be another ten years from now.

With so many new advances and the always-evolving technology with which we’re presented, there’s no doubt the industry has a bright future.

The sky continues to be the limit! However, it may not always feel like that. If your limit involves your writing skills right now, you know where to look for support.

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Sample 1st 3 Paragraphs for the Masters Degree in Human Nutrition , UK, NHS Dietician

Over the course of my BTEC in Science at XXXX College, my interest in nutrition, healthy eating, diet, health and wellbeing and disease evolved. Since then, my passion to become a Dietician arose.  Given the statistics for obesity in the UK, diet has never been more relevant yet there is a huge gap in people's understanding. The expense of purchasing healthy foods only serves to exacerbate the national epidemic. I believe that we all have a role to play in tackling this epidemic.

Nutrition, as a subject, inspires me as it is so important in maintaining our health and yet, it is often neglected leading to disease, which places more of a burden on the NHS. I would like to be able to educate on how to improve health through maintaining a healthy diet. I should like to share my knowledge and expertise so that everyone from young children to elderly people realise the importance of having a healthy diet so that they change poor diet habits and, in turn, improve the health of our future generations. This is a subject that is rapidly evolving through research and greater public awareness through the media and one that fascinates me personally.

Having successfully completed a Diploma in Nutrition at The College of Nutrition, I now have a deep understanding of how the NHS also plays an essential role in educating and supporting patients who have diet-related illnesses. Working in the NHS, I feel I would be able to share my passion for having a healthy diet through my interactions with patients; I understand the role of an NHS Dietician to be one in which each patient's diet would be initially assessed culminating in a Diet Profile from which recommendations would be made that are specific to that individual. This may be devising a Diet Plan, advising on how to lose weight or educating patients on what constitutes a healthy diet.

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Getting Accepted to Grad School in Nutrition

I work in virtually all areas or disciplines, drafting eloquent statements on behalf of my clients so that they are accepted to the program of their choice. A very large segment of these applications are to programs that have something to do with medicine and health, from public health and medical school through nursing, psychology, and social work. The discipline that I see as most fundamental to physical and mental health as well, however, is nutrition. For it is the study of human nutrition that holds the greatest promise for making the practice of medicine all but obsolete. Rather, the study and practice of good nutrition is the foundation and springboard of preventive medicine, healthy children from day one, through a balanced diet that includes an adequate supply of everything essential and excludes everything else.

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Sample 1st Paragraph for the Masters Degree in Human Nutrition

As a student from Paraguay, I hope to contribute to the diversity of XXXX University as a graduate student in Nutrition and to learn from my peers from all over the world as well as my professors. My main goal as a dietician would be to improve the lives of individuals by helping them obtain a healthy lifestyle despite their social or economic status, especially in light of the fact that that more than half of Paraguay’s population lives in poverty. XXXX University is my first choice for graduate school because it has a higher percentage of international students than any other university in the USA, in addition to the vast intellectual and scientific resources of the surrounding area.

Sample 1st Paragraph Masters Human Nutrition, Veterinary Nutrition Background

My mother has struggled with her weight at least since she had me if not before as well. There has been a cancer scare, a diabetes diagnoses, and many thousand dollars spent on medications.  Most recently, she had a major weight loss operation.  Throughout everything, there has been minimal nutritional guidance either pre- or post-surgically. As this drama unfolded in my life and took and increasing toll on my entire family, I gradually became less interested in my own career in veterinary medicine, and found myself immersed more and more in the literature in human nutrition. My interest is now such that I am now certain that human nutrition is the field to which I want to devote my professional life, building upon the extensive experience that I have in the area of veterinary nutrition. I have known since I obtained my Bachelor’s degree several years ago that I would one day choose to pursue a graduate degree.  I have always craved knowledge and for the last several years, I have become increasingly intrigued by the science of nutrition and herbs and their preventative abilities.  I am very hard working and passionate.  I believe I would be an excellent student and a successful and inspired graduate of the Master’s in Human Nutrition program.

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