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Dietitians may do some or all of the following

  • counsel clients/patients about their lifestyle and eating habits
  • plan special diets or provide specialised nutrition support for clients/patients
  • do research and present this at seminars
  • lecture at universities/polytechnics on the topics of diet and nutrition
  • provide nutritional information to food industry organisations
  • provide nutritional information to sports and fitness centres and elite athletes (professional and amateur)
  • market specialist nutritional products.

Dietitians need knowledge of

  • food and its nutrients, including the nutrients needed for human health
  • how food is digested and absorbed
  • science, including physiology, biochemistry and nutrition
  • how patients may respond to advice and treatment
  • health and nutrition research techniques
  • food preparation techniques
  • different cultures, and an understanding of their beliefs and protocols relating to food
  • public health systems
  • business and management skills, including the ability to manage people and resources
  • communication skills
  • planning, time management and organisational skills.

Dietitians need to be

  • outgoing and motivated
  • able to inspire confidence in others
  • patient
  • able to relate to a wide variety of people
  • interested in science and food.