Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food, how the body uses nutrients, and the relationship between diet, health and disease. Nutritionists create and apply scientific knowledge to promote an understanding of the effects of diet on health and wellbeing of humans and animals. Most of the major food manufacturers and retailers employ nutritionists and food scientists, and opportunities also exist in journalism, government, research, health promotion and education, at home and abroad. There is also a variety of food-orientated careers within the related field of food science and technology. Nutritionists also work in emergency relief or development projects in low income countries. In relation to the latter, information on opportunities and advice on training courses and the personal skills and qualities required can be found at the International Health Exchange.

Public Health Nutrition

Public Health Nutrition is the application of the science of nutrition for the benefit of the population as a whole, or sub-sections of the population. It encompasses promotion of good health through nutrition and the primary prevention of diet-related illness in the population. Although an important facet of public health nutrition is establishing the relationships between nutrition and health or disease risk at a research level, equally important is nutrition-related health promotion. This includes the type of work conducted by many of the nutritionists working in the food industry and related trade associations, in government, health promotion, and by dietitians working in the community.

For information on how to register as a Nutritionist  visit the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), visit the Association for Nutrition website.


Last reviewed June 2011. Next review due June 2014