What they do
Nutritionists provide advice on making healthy dietary choices. They usually work in a preventative role, helping healthy people identify and modify unhealthy eating habits which could potentially lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and obesity. They study how the body breaks down and uses the nutrients found in food. This knowledge can be used to formulate healthy eating plans for clients, and to advise food manufacturers on ways to create healthy and nutritious products.
The majority of nutritionists in Western Australia work in offices and laboratories in the Perth metropolitan area. They may work for community health centres, hospitals, nursing homes, food suppliers and manufacturers, government organisations or in private practice. They have a high level of contact with both members of the public and other health professionals, often working as part of a team to improve a patient or client's health. Most nutritionists work regular office hours.
Tools and technologies
Nutritionists measure a client's weight, body size and fat content using instruments such as scales, tape measures and skin-fold callipers. They may use books, charts and other aids to demonstrate healthy foods and preparation techniques. Nutritionists researching the heath benefits of particular foods will often use standard laboratory equipment to examine and measure the nutritional content of these products. They may also use computers to create easy to read menus and eating plans for clients, as well as for general record keeping and administration.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a nutritionist, you usually need to study a degree in science with a major in nutrition at university.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.