Human nutrition is an interdisciplinary science that includes a range of areas; chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, medicine, toxicology and food sciences to epidemiology and public health science. It is a science of the role of diet for our health and wellbeing, of human energy metabolism and the nutrients we need in order to maintain health, their functions in the body, their dietary sources and how much we need of them.
Human nutrition is called for in all situations that relates to diet and health, in both preventing and treating diseases. Most of our common diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer are, for example, related to diet and lifestyle. Many health problems globally are also connected to nutrition.
Sport nutrition, health foods and "functional foods" are other areas that belong to human nutrition. More recently, molecular biology has entered modern nutrition research and made it possible to explore and understand the mechanisms behind the impact of diet on the body, even down at the level of gene regulation.
Nutrition is a relatively young science and there is a great interest in “new discoveries”. In order to understand and evaluate what is written and said skills at university level are needed. Training to search, read and discuss scientific literature and to understand the scientific process is an important part throughout the nutrition education.
What can you work with after the education?
Nutritionists work in many areas, for example in health promotion at individual and societal level, information and education, research and development, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation, product development, marketing and selling. Possible work places include counties, municipalities, government agencies, international organizations, universities, food companies and pharmaceutical companies. A growing number of nutritionists also run their own business as consultancies, particularly in informing about the relationship between diet and health.