Nutrition beyond "Nutrition"
The first thing I tell my students when we start our dietetics classes is that the average person's nutrition has little to do with Nutrition as a science. Nutrition as a science is useful for us dietitians, to design meal plans and assess the nutritional adequacy of our patient, but when it’s time to change someone’s eating habits, Nutrition books go out the window and Psychology, Sociology and Epidemiology books enter the picture.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you ate because you were really hungry? A time when you were hungry not because it was your usual mealtime, not because you wanted dessert, or because you had company, not because you were happy or sad, not because you had drunk a little too much and found your way to the closest, and only, kebab shop at 4am.
We almost never eat due to physical hunger, we eat because something else drives us to eat. Our feelings, our mood, our company, the dessert we found in front of us, or just force of habit. At any case, it’s obvious that if we want to be proper dietitians, it is not enough to know the biochemical elements of a person's diet, but also the psychosocial ones. If we want to change their habits, we need to know the best psychological methods, understand the social factors that influence their choices and, above all, follow the Golden Rule of Nutrition: We do suggest a meal plan that we ourselves would not happily follow.
At New York College we have developed our program to meets these needs. Here, a student will not just learn the components of a diet, but they will also learn how to understand, influence and use psychology and sociology as a tool in their professional career.