We know we’re currently experiencing an “obesity epidemic” so it was just a matter of time before we could get a degree in it, right?
The degree is being offered for the first time this fall through the University of Guelph and Humber College and graduates will gain knowledge of obesity-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, develop the skills to become personal fitness and nutrition instructors, learn how to conduct physical assessments and to develop exercise and nutrition plans tailored for clients with different health statuses.
The program was developed with the help of Terry Graham, a U of Guelph human health and nutritional sciences professor. She points out the obvious that “activity and nutrition influence each other with regard to health benefits, and studies have shown that these aspects of lifestyle are more effective in preventing and moderating diabetes than the best drugs."
When I was completing my university degree in dietetics, I wished we had been taught more about exercise physiology and even fitness assessments... (not to toot my own horn but I did suggest it and was rudely dismissed by the higher-ups. hmph).
During their 4 years, students will complete classes in anatomy, physiology, biophysics and biomechanics, motor learning and neural control, biochemistry, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle assessment, human development and aging, natural health products and physical activity, just to name a few. They will also complete 2 internships for that ever-important real-life experience.
Upon completion, graduates don’t become dietitians. In fact, there’s only 3 classes in nutrition: Nutrition: Exercise and Metabolism, Fundamentals of Nutrition: Pharmacaology and Toxicology and Special Populations: Exercise and Nutrition. They do get Bachelors of Applied Science in Kinesiology from U of Guelph and a diploma in fitness and health promotion from Humber. As such, they can work as kinesiologists, personal trainers, wellness consultants and fitness practitioners in clinical and rehab settings.
The response to the program has been overwhelming with more than 430 students applying for just 60 spots. Apply only if you're really smart!