Department of Exercise Science and Sport

Nutrition Concentration

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The nutritional crisis in America is irrefutable and ubiquitous. Following in its path are numerous health risks: stroke, cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and metabolic syndrome, to name a few. The consequences of this trend are not only physiological in nature but also have psychological implications such as depression, social barriers and isolation. Add the economic impact of these nutritional disorders, which present a serious financial burden on both the private and federal levels.

The concentration in Nutrition Studies is designed to encourage critical thinking, engage students in dialogue, and increase self-awareness of what their nutritional status may be. It is designed to increase the knowledge base of the depth and implications of nutritional problems and their effects on chronic illnesses. Students in health-related fields such as Exercise Science, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Community Health Education and other health related sciences will all benefit from this course concentration.


Background Information:

Food is a basic human need for survival based on the body's need for nutrients, the life sustaining substances in foods. Nutrients are necessary for the growth, maintenance and repair of the body's cells and the primary way to prevent disease and promote improved health.
In the United States, poor eating habits are associated with 4 of the 10 leading causes of death: heart disease, some types of cancer, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. according to one national study, death from all causes in American men and women, about 16% and 9% respectively, could be eliminated if the population adopted recommended dietary behaviors.

Key concepts that are emphasized in the Nutrition Concentration:

*Most foods are mixtures of nutrients that support health
*Eating a variety of foods can help ensure nutritional
    adequacy and insure optimum health
*Food is the best source of nutrients but excess or
    insufficient intakes may lead to poor health
*Nutrition is a dynamic science with new information
    always evolving

How will the Concentration in nutrition help my future career?

Students interested in the pursuit of graduate work in the field of nutrition will find this concentration helpful. There are several potential graduate routes with the completion of this concentration: A Master's Degree in Nutrition(currently offered at 118 Colleges and Universities) is a marketable degree with a most positive future outlook. Graduate degrees are available in several areas including: advanced human nutrition, sports nutrition, nutrition and human kinetics and sports medicine. The director of the concentration will work with any student on selection and availability of colleges and universities as well as help advise any student wishing to become a Registered Dietitian.
For those students who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree that will lead to a future career in one ot the health professions, this concentration can fulfill your desire to learn more about this exciting growing area of science! In clinical doctorates, advanced nursing, such as a certified practitioner and physician assistant, opportunities to take additional advanced nutrition courses may be available. For any health major, a concentration in nutrition does not support giving specific nutrition counseling or medical nutrition therapy. It does enhance, however, their capability of use of "public domain", including general information on nutrition principles, hydration issues, and dietary guidelines to name just a few. "Any non-RD who is interested in providing nutrition guidance is encouraged to take additional undergraduate and/or graduate nutrition courses and attend continuing education seminars" (ADA Commission on Dietetic Registration).