Overview of Human Nutrition and Food
Professors: Cheryl Atkinson, Ph.D., RDN, LDN and Bernestine McGee, Ph.D. RDN, LDN
Human Nutrition and Food is the 1) systematic study of the nutritional needs of individuals in both health and disease; 2) the provision of nutritious food to individuals or groups in order to promote or maintain health and prevent or treat illness; 3) the provision of nutritional care to individuals of groups through nutrition education, and distribution of food; and 4) the provision of food to groups through the management of food service systems. The Human Nutrition and Food emphasis in Family and Consumer Sciences translates the science of food and its relation to good health into exciting careers.
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Family and Consumer Sciences – Culinary Management at Southern University and A&M College combines the creative spirit of the culinary arts with the technical and scientific expertise of food science and the entrepreneurial expertise of food service systems management. The Culinary Management emphasis prepares students for an exciting and challenging career in the nation’s largest business: food. This concentration prepares students for management roles or entrepreneurial opportunities within the food industry. Students are marketable for new employment opportunities in the hospitality industry. Students are prepared to compete in the retail food market which ranges from healthcare to lodging organizations and develops students as leaders for the foodservice and lodging professions. Career opportunities include positions as managers with airlines, cruise ships, retirement communities, hospitals, universities, correctional facilities, delis and catering operations, retail sales in hospitality; marketing, advertising; and self-employed managers.
Nutrition, Health and Wellness
The Nutrition, Health and Wellness (NHW) concentration provides the required coursework leading to a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences-Nutrition, Health and Wellness. This concentration attracts students who have a strong interest in nutrition as it relates to nutrition, wellness and health promotion. People of all ages need assistance in optimizing their health through nutrition and physical activity. This concentration addresses today’s diverse nutrition and health issues to enhance the quality of life of individuals and communities.
Potential career opportunities include positions in the food industry, voluntary and community health organizations, school health programs, government, cooperative extension, research, advocacy, education, communications, public relations, advertising, marketing, corporate wellness programs, insurance companies, health coaching and the fitness industry.
The curriculum incorporates learning experiences for students to achieve foundation knowledge and skills for challenging opportunities following graduation. The concentration is designed for students seeking employment in food and nutrition directly out of college or applying for graduate school.
Nutrition and Health Informatics
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Family and Consumer Sciences – Nutrition and Health Informatics concentration focuses on the management and use of nutrition and health data and information through technology. Nutrition and Health Informatics is the management of nutrition and health information food and nutrition professionals need in the health care arena. This emerging area is concerned with the optimal use of information, often aided by the use of technology, to improve individual health, health care, public health, and research. Nutrition and Health Informatics describes an emerging area of practice that focuses on harnessing the latest information technologies, including mobile devices, social media and data analytics and bring them to bear on all aspects of local and global healthcare systems.
The concentrations in Human Nutrition and Food do not prepare students to obtain professional credentials in dietetics. Students receive a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Nutrition, Health and Wellness, Culinary Management or Nutrition and Health Informatics.
Admission to the Department is open to all students who have successfully completed a minimum of 24 semester hours in the Division of Student Success with a minimum grade point average of 2.00. Transfer students from other degree-granting areas of the University, and transfer students from other approved colleges and universities are accepted.
HUMAN NUTRITION AND FOOD STUDENTS
Both males and females are successful Human Nutrition and Food students. The ideal food and nutrition professional should be physically fit, curious, imaginative, sensitive, creative, flexible, a risk-taker, assertive, self-confident, achievement-oriented, technology savvy, a self-initiator and enthusiastic with a positive attitude.
JOB OUTLOOK FOR HUMAN NUTRITION AND FOOD GRADUATES
The employment of food and nutrition professionals is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2024. This demand increases in response to the expanding needs of health care, the hospitality industry, education and research. Food and nutrition professionals work in sales, marketing and public relations, government, culinary and hospitality management, fitness, food companies, health information management and in private practice. Salaries compare favorably with those related professions requiring similar educational preparation. Salary levels may vary with geographical location, scope of responsibility and supply of applicants. The role of food in preventing and treating illnesses, such as diabetes, is now well known. More dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health.
COOPS AND INTERNSHIPS, SUMMER JOB OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR SUTDENTS
Opportunities exist for students to participate in cooperative education, internships and summer job opportunities. Eligible students are encouraged to incorporate these into their program of study.
FOUNDATION FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL
The curriculum provides a basis for graduate study and research. The College has a graduate school linkage program with a variety of institutions throughout the United States. Eligible students are encouraged to apply and participate.
Financial aid assistance, in the form of scholarships, loans, grants, and employment, is available to all students who complete the necessary application process and qualify prior to established deadline date. Special scholarships and assistantships are available to eligible students through the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences and the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences.
PROFESSIONAL AND LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Food and Nutrition Association
Human Nutrition and Food majors are expected to become active member of the Food and Nutrition Association (FNA). The FNA allows student to enhance their professional growth and to develop leadership skills. The FNA participates in University and community projects designed to enhance the nutritional well-being of individuals. FNA members participate in professional meetings and activities at the local, state and national levels.
Students may become members of the Student Member Section of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), and other organizations at the University.
Students with a 3.0 and above grade point average are invited to join Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society. Students with a 3.0 and above average may also be invited to join other honor societies at the University.
Bernestine B. McGee, Ph.D., RD, LDN
Professor and Program Leader
Human Nutrition and Food Program
Southern University and A & M College
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
(P) 225-771-4289 (F) 225-771-3107