What Is A Bariatric Nutritionist?
The word Bariatric comes from the Greek language. The root word baros means weight while the word iatros is the traditional word for doctor Bariatric health is the division of health care that deals specifically with one ailment, including the causes, prevention and treatment, of obesity. There are five parts to bariatrics and bariatric medicine, encompassing the following areas:
- Diet & Nutrition
- Exercise & Fitness
- Behavioral Therapy
The increase in the existence of overweight and obese people in North America, especially within the United States, is quite alarming. Obesity in North America is determined by a certain level of an individual’s body fat, in correlation to their total body mass. This is referred to as the Body Mass Index, or BMI. People with a BMI above levels that have been specified as healthy by today’s medical field more often find themselves inflicted with ailments attributed to being overweight or obese including heart disease, diabetes, various types of cancer, asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, musculoskeletal problems, psychological problems such as depression and many others.
Bariatric nutritionists and dietitians work with doctors and other health care professionals using diet, exercise and behavioral therapy as a first line of defense against obesity. Often times, this process is undertaken over a long period of time, often years, as patients can many times gain back weight they have worked so hard to lose shortly after completing many structured programs.
Bariatric nutritionists and doctors have many types of treatment at their disposal, yet still must resort to medications and even bariatric surgery in the most extreme cases. In the case of bariatric surgery, there are two main options. Often times, doctors will perform a Gastric Band Surgery, where a surgeon places an implanted medical device called a gastric band around the stomach, limiting its size. Other times, surgeons will cut away parts of the stomach to limit its size, called Gastric Bypass Surgery.
Bariatric Nutritionist & Dietitian Duties
After any type of bariatric surgery, a bariatric nutritionists is on hand throughout recover to make sure the patient not only heals properly, but continues to eat healthy, enabling them the highest possible chances of a return to a healthy lifestyle. Nutritional counseling becomes the single most important aspect of recovery after bariatric surgery, and these specialists must have the training, knowledge and sills to treat each patient’s specific needs. These nutritionists and dietitians are often referred to as Bariatric Nutrition Coordinators. A bariatric nutritionist or dietitian provides patients with both technical, nutritional and moral support throughout the entire process, often times becoming a counselor as well.
Bariatric Nutrition Career & Salary Information
As obesity continues to rise in the US and Canada, more patients are turning to bariatric nutritionists and doctors for treatment when conventional diets and programs do not work. Moreover, we’re seeing obesity on a much higher level than ever before. As medical professionals continue to link more illnesses and ailments to obesity, more people are looking at their weight as a liability and are beginning to consider doing something about it. This increased demand has in turn created a higher demand for nutritionists and dietitians focused on the field of bariatrics.
According to Indeed.com, an online medical industry monitor, an entry-level nutritionist in the field of bariatrics can expect to make at least $48,000 per year, while an experienced nutritionist or dietitian can expect to make above $60,000. Depending on the region and employer, this number may rise significantly. Moreover, as demand for bariatric medicine continues, compensation for professionals with skills and experience will increase as well.
Continuing Education & Advanced Degrees In Bariatric Nutrition
Nutritionists and dietitians currently practicing in one of the nutrition fields who wish to get the training necessary to become a bariatric nutritionist are encouraged to view Nutritionist World’s list of advanced degrees including master’s and doctorate degrees. There has never been a more important time to further your education towards improving your career in nutrition and dietetics. Request information from as many schools and you would like, choosing one that fits both your educational and career goals.