In most industrialised countries, nutritional science has become increasingly important in the formulation of therapeutic strategies for clinical management of disease and preventive strategies against chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Many middle to high-income countries in a state of nutritional and health transition with income levels and changing lifestyles are battling obesity and nutrition-related chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, diseases of bone and some cancers.
In developing countries, the double burden of disease persists, i.e. tackling communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, whilst at the same time having to deal with severe and chronic malnutrition and over-nutrition.
Governments and non-government organisations (NGOs) have raised concern at the lack of specialist personnel to aid this situation, so a number of universities and health care institutions are modifying curricula to address this issue and in particular the professional expertise needed in clinical, sports and exercise and public health nutrition. Furthermore, governments and NGOs engaged in humanitarian relief efforts lack the right personnel to undertake the challenge of meeting nutritional needs during humanitarian emergencies.
The focus of the Nutritional Sciences programme addresses these growing needs in order to meet UK, EC and international markets, particularly in transition economies and developing countries.
In defining the structure of the programme, three key focus areas have been identified:
* academic provision to develop skills and capacity in the field of clinical, sports and exercise and public health nutrition
* specialist short training courses and continuing professional development (CPD) for field workers
* a strong research element based on national and international partnerships and linked to international health and development projects
Continuing professional development in clinical and public heath environments, links to international health and development projects. Others may want to work in the sports, fitness and leisure industry as sports and exercise nutritionists or work freelance as registered nutritionists