What is a dietitian?

   A dietitian is a specialist in planning and supervising the preparation and serving of food in order to maintain or restore good health. There are five major specializations in the field. These major specializations are food administration, diet therapy, teaching, research, and community nutrition.
   About half of all dietitians are employed in hospitals. The remainder find employment mainly in schools and colleges; restaurants, clubs, and hotels; business and industrial firms; and other organizations that serve food to large numbers of people. Dietitians are involved in the establishment of overall policies regarding type of service and facilities; the selection, training, and supervision of the kitchen staff; menu planning; the purchase of food and equipment; food storage; emergency problems created by food short-ages; the enforcement of sanitary regulations; and preparation of various routine and special reports. Therapeutic dietitians supervise special dietary requirements of hospitalized patients and of outpatients.