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How to Study Diet & Nutrition

By Judy Wilson

Studying diet and nutrition is a worthwhile pursuit for anyone, from the layperson to someone seeking a nutrition-related career. Everyone needs to know plenty on this topic, because healthy diet and nutrition are critical building blocks in the path toward vibrant and lasting health. Multiple ways exist for studying diet and nutrition, with many of them being free or low in cost, and how you go about your learning will depend on your needs and goals. For example, studying diet and nutrition as a layperson will differ from the studies of someone desiring a professional certification and career.

  1. Make an appointment with a professional or certified nutritionist, and meet with him or her in person or over the phone. Before the appointment, write down all the questions you would like to ask at the meeting. Approach this meeting as an interview with this person. At that appointment, ask your diet and nutrition questions. Take notes, and refer later to your notes as needed.

  2. Purchase some diet and nutrition books, or borrow them from your local library. Check not just your public library but also any university, community college or medical/health libraries that are near you. The specific books you get will depend on what types of diet and nutritional philosophies you would like to learn. For example, if you want to study vegetarian, vegan or raw diets, you will read different books than you will if you plan to learn about meat-including diets and nutrition. For more comprehensive studies, read about all types of diets and nutrition.

  3. Read medical and health journal articles pertaining to diet and nutrition, depending on what you want to study and learn. These articles can be challenging for a lay person to read but often include information regarding, for example, how nutrition affects various health conditions.

  4. Research and read Websites related to diet and nutrition. Some keywords and search terms to enter into an online search engine include “study diet” and “nutrition information.” The American Dietetic Association’s site and material can be a good starting point. An abundance of information about diet and nutrition exists online, and it is important to be able to discern and weed out the misinformation.

  5. Sign up for and attend various teleseminars and Webinars that discuss diet and nutrition. Many of these are free, and they tend to be highly informative and educational.

  6. Consider enrolling in community college, university or online diet and nutrition classes, or even an undergraduate or graduate program, if you are serious about getting professional-level training in diet and nutrition. Go this route if you plan to get a professional certification and if you want to eventually consult and teach others about diet and nutrition.

  7. Tip

    Take notes as you study, or better yet, set up a notebook or three-ring binder where you will gather all of the information you obtain into one consolidated, organized place. Diet and nutrition information is changing constantly, so bear that in mind as you study. You might want to lean toward reading information that has been written and published very recently.


    Much diet and nutrition information is biased, so be aware of that as you study. Many people are passionate about their own views, at the exclusion of other stances. Learn how to sift out the bias and get to just the facts.

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