This past month, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the creation of the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the School of Public Health. Pending approval from the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan, the department will begin offering graduate degree programs in 2015.
The first available programs will be a Master of Public Health in Nutritional Sciences, a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences. The University plans to introduce undergraduate classes in the future.
According to The University Record, Dean of the School of Public Health, Martin Philbert explained that “from the womb to the tomb, food, air and water are the three necessities for human existence. The science of nutrition is of vital importance to the maintenance of health, the prevention of disease and the sustainability of communities and nations. The new department will continue to make substantive, scholarly contributions toward the improvement of health.”
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. 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.” Median pay of dietitians and nutritionists in 2010 was $55,240.00, or $26.56 per hour. A University press release said “that the new department will build upon the strength of the school’s current Human Nutrition Program (HNP), part of the SPH Environmental Health Sciences Department (EHS)—and the work of the affiliated research centers: Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Children’s Environmental Health & Disease Prevention Center and the Momentum Center on childhood obesity.”
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