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Ashland University Dietetics Professor Agrees with CNN Money’s Assessment; Notes Top 5 Reasons to Pursue Dietitian Career

Ashland University's Dr. David Vanata, RD, CSSD LD, director of the dietetics program, said the CNN Money website’s top 20 “Best Jobs for Saving the World” list is “right on” when it ranks dietitians in the third spot.

Ashland, OH, October 29, 2011 --( An Ashland University dietetics professor agrees with CNN Money’s latest ranking that places the dietician as the third best job for saving the world.

Dr. David Vanata, RD, CSSD LD, director of the dietetics program at Ashland University, said the CNN Money website’s top 20 “Best Jobs for Saving the World” list is “right on” when it ranks dietitians in the third spot.

“The dietetics field is such a wide ranging field that involves advising individuals and groups on nutrition; working for hospitals, corporations, schools and community health centers; running private practices, or even working as a consultant,” Vanata said. “It’s a career where an individual can make can make a difference in the lives of the people they meet and work with.”

Vanata continued, noting that nutrition counseling is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, areas in healthcare today.

“Many of the current problems evident in our society have nutritional links,” he said. “As the science continues to move in the direction of identifying the importance of specific foods and nutrients for each individual through nutragenomics, the need for experienced dietitians will increase.”

In these rankings, CNN rates the “Quality of Life” for dietitian as: Personal satisfaction – B; Benefit to society – B; Low Stress – C; and Flexibility – B.

“I think the rating of the low stress and flexibility components for dietitians are fair, but in the areas of personal satisfaction and benefit to society these ratings should be an ‘A.’ Achieving personal satisfaction from a career is based on individual goals, not necessarily and objective standard,” he said. “The field of dietetics allows each individual the opportunity to set these goals, while providing all the avenues to reach and surpass them. You cannot say that about many jobs or careers. As far as benefiting society, eating is one behavior that when done correctly or modified, can directly benefit that individual as well as society.”

Vanata takes the CNN rankings one step further and lists his top five reasons for pursuing a dietetics degree.

1) The nutrition and dietetics profession is exciting and expanding as people are becoming more aware of how food affects their health and how food safety and nutrition labeling regulations impact choices.

2) The country's childhood obesity crisis and aging population are driving the demand for these experts in healthy eating.

3) There are many opportunities in this field to "change the world." Dietitians can delve into politics, writing, marketing, sports nutrition, corporate wellness, rehabilitation and endless other avenues. Also, diabetes educators can save the world one person at a time by helping them save their own health.

4) Dietitians can make their own success by creating projects for themselves to help people with their weight loss issues.

5) Registered dietitians are able to offer their expertise for those around them, including friends and family, and often times offer life changing experiences for those people with their own health issues.

Ashland University offers a degree program in dietetics that has received the designation of “candidacy for accreditation” from the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association.

Ashland University’s program in Dietetics is designed for students who wish to become registered dietitians (R.D.) and practitioners in clinical, community, food industry and food-service areas of nutrition. Registered dietitians are employed by hospitals, community agencies and various government or private organizations.

“Ashland’s new undergraduate degree program in dietetics offers a very challenging curriculum and is a program designed for the more serious student,” Vanata said. “There are only about 10 accredited programs in the state and we are one of only three private schools in Ohio offering this type of accredited program.”

Vanata, who also is an associate professor and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics at Ashland University, said the CADE accreditation certifies that the University is offering a top-notch program and means that graduates of Ashland’s program will be eligible to apply for a CADE-accredited dietetic internship following graduation.

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