Millennials Influencing What Others Eat

By Benedictine University, Special for  USDR

What we’re eating and would like to eat has changed over the years. Almost a century ago, future President Herbert Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot.” At a baseball game, everyone sings “Take me out to the ballgame…buy me some peanuts and Cracker  Jacks.

Now it seems that everyone is vocal about what they eat, are willing to eat, and what they are unable to eat. Food allergies have proliferated, with peanuts often banned from classrooms, and “gluten-free” is the new special offering in most food venues. “Non-GMO” is proclaimed on many  labels.

Throughout human life, food is both a bonding element in cultural rituals and a divisive element for the “haves” versus the “have nots.” In the past, resources dictated what was available to eat. Nutritional value might be ignored if there wasn’t much choice in the icebox, the precursor to  refrigerators.

Now with massive farms growing crops in quantities, manufacturers producing “New, less fat” and other supposed improvements, there are many choices. Millennials, however, have taken a stance. They want healthier, more “plant-centric” food. They may not be “vegans” — or “vegetarians”, but they might be “vegan-ish,” using plants as a focal point of their diet. They want to eat healthier. And, what they think is influencing food sources from food stores to restaurant  fare.

With all the many choices, nutritionists and registered dietitians are essential to help people design a better way of eating and nourishing themselves. With obesity rampant, 10 percent of adults are diabetic, and heart disease the leading cause of death in the United States, there is clearly a need to educate and help people eat  well.

Benedictine University’s provides an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness program that combines advanced nutrition with wellness. Foundational coursework involving 38-credit hours includes biostatistics and theory as well as studies in obesity, lipids and carbohydrates, and proteins. The program offers a choice of two concentrations, either health education or nutritional entrepreneurship with electives for both  areas.

“Nutrition and wellness are at a crossroads. Training the next educators in nutrition, wellness, and leadership in these fields could make a major difference in alleviating suffering and offering hope for the next generation,” says Catherine Arnold, department chair and  professor.

With a career that can make a difference on both a one-on-one basis and globally, nutritionists also have an opportunity to expand their choices with the online Master in Nutrition and Wellness. Increases in positions are expected with 12,300 new jobs filled by 2018. Pay scales for nutritionists are the highest in the federal government with average salaries in the mid-$60,000 range, but differ in each state for local and state governments, and the private  sector.

If we are what we eat, it is time that we use the resources and the knowledge available to make our health better. Nutritionists and dietitians can be a major force in providing opportunities for choosing to be  healthy.

About Benedictine  University

Benedictine University is dedicated to the education of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse ethnic, racial, and religious  backgrounds.

Benedictine University’s Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness is designed especially for registered dietitians (RD) and others with a bachelor’s in a life or physical science. This program offers a multi-dimensional study of health that allows you to build on your foundation in nutrition and health risk assessment, motivation, intervention and evaluation and learn advanced clinical skills and community-based  applications.

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SOURCE Benedictine  University

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