U.S. employment of dietitians, nutritionists expected to grow 20% faster than average for all other occupations within next eight years, U.S. Dept. of Labor says

LISLE, Illinois , May 31, 2012 (press release) – All college students love food, but undecided college majors may want to try loving it a bit more – especially if it leads to a job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of dietitians and nutritionists is expected to grow 20 percent faster than the average for all other occupations within the next eight years.

Universities need to prepare students for this growing market. The Nutrition programs at Benedictine University, featuring the only program in the country with a combined Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Nutrition and Wellness/Dietetic Internship program, are designed to help meet the demand for these jobs and help satisfy America's fixation with incorporating health-conscious products into their lifestyles.

Consumers are becoming more attuned to not only proven means of healthy nutrition and fervently seeking out innovative methods and products to meet their needs, but also are more critical and willing to abandon a product or service they perceive violates healthy practices.

The public relies on professionals like food inspectors, nutritionists and agricultural scientists to say what is safe to consume and what the public should limit or avoid, which is essential for food and beverages and even more important for products like dietary supplements that are used by 69 percent of U.S. adults, according to a survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. This obsession by consumers is helping drive the demand for more nutrition professionals.

Successful completion of Benedictine's combined M.S./Dietetic Internship program qualifies students to take the examination to become a registered dietitian. The undergraduate Nutrition major, known as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), leads to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Nutrition.

Benedictine alumni serve in a variety of roles in the nutrition field, including clinical dietitian, neonatal and pediatric clinical nutrition specialist, public health case manager and quality assurance manager.

Nutritionists and dietitians are in demand as health care and public officials implement programs like First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign to combat childhood obesity. Nutritionists help shape and educate consumers on the government recommended dietary guidelines for healthy living.

For more information about the Nutrition programs at Benedictine University that are helping to fill a growing need, visit www.ben.edu/nutrition.

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