Public Health Nutrition practitioners wear many proverbial hats. They need to be skilled in counseling, education, and behavior change strategies, and have strong cultural competency. They work to build coalitions, utilize community-based data sets to monitor and evaluate health status and outcomes, establish preventative guidelines, and promote quality systems of care. They develop and advocate for policies that address nutrition concerns of various populations. These can include mobilizing nutrition resources for emergency preparedness, and guiding responses to food and nutrition crises.
Work in this area can range from work with small groups to a population/systems focus. Many people working in public health nutrition provide a combination of population and personal nutrition services, involving primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of chronic diseases.
Public Health Nutritionists are employed as members of community health agencies and health promotion programs. These programs include a broad range of human services, including child care agencies, services to the elderly, educational institutions and community based research. They can also be employed in outpatient nutrition counseling services though hospital or free-standing clinics or group practices, consulting practice, or other activities.
More information about this practice area can be found on the web pages of the Public Health/ Community Nutrition (PHCN) member practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.