Dietitians use current scientific evidence to plan and implement practical and effective ways of managing food and nutrition – both for individuals and for groups of people. People with chronic or acute diseases benefit from the involvement of a dietitian in their care.
The Dietetic Programme at Otago University is the established programme in New Zealand that trains Dietitians. Students complete a BSc or BCApSc in Human Nutrition, then a Master of Dietetics. The programme is taught in Dunedin in the first year. Each week students participate in lectures, clinical skills laboratories, small group sessions, and tutorials. Early Learning in Dietetics (practical experience placements) are completed under the supervision of dietetic tutors in hospital, community, public health and foodservice environments. The second year consists of one semester of placements and one semester of research in one of a number of centres.
What’s the difference
between a Dietitian and a nutritionist?
Dietitians can also be nutritionists – but nutritionists need further postgraduate training to become dietitians.
Dietitians are uniquely qualified to manage the nutritional care of people with special dietary needs and to promote health. They must be registered to practise dietetics in New Zealand. Dietitians work in clinical situations such as hospitals, private practice, Public Health organisations, and community settings.
Dietitians influence nutrition in their roles as Food Service Managers, Government and non-Governmental Organisation advisors, Food Industry Managers, educators, and researchers.