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What is the study of Human Nutrition?

Of the roughly six billion people in the world, finding food and maintaining healthy nutrition remains an ordeal for roughly one third of them. In fact, over 36 million people starve to death each year without access to enough food. Many of these are children. Malnutrition and disease are among the largest killers in the world, afflicting the developing world many times worse than western countries. Moreover, if food is so scarce in poorer areas, why are obesity rates so much higher? Over all, what can be done to improve health and nutrition around the world? The study of Human Nutrition looks at each specific area of nutrition in communities around the world in order to improve the health, wellness and specific needs of the people in that area.

The field of human health and its relationship to nutrition involves many areas of study including physiology, chemistry, biology and even psychology. Human nutrition includes the study of the body's chemical compounds including water, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, food for human nutritionsfatty acids and nucleic acids. This, in turn, involves the study of elements making up these compounds including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to name just a few. When the study of human nutrition and the body are broken down into detail, a solid understanding of the human physiology and all working elements is very important.

Understanding how elements such as nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, minerals, vitamins, water and more affect different types of people, under numerous different circumstances, in vastly different environments, is what drives the study of human nutrition. People working in this field strive to improve everything from agriculture and farming to inner city nutrition campaigns and eating habits to better and more efficient ways of supplying nutrients to the poorest people throughout the world.

The study of human nutrition leads to a variety of careers in areas including education, research, government, non-profit organizations and big business. The field is a good fit for those with a strong sense of curiosity, a knack for science and a strong will to make the world a better, healthier place. If this sounds like a field in which you may be interested, feel free to review the schools and programs on this site for a degree in nutrition or health science that will provide you with the information, skills and knowledge you need to succeed.

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            Master of Science in Nutrition Education

            At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We’re defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.


            American University is a private, college-centered research university located in the nation’s capital. It was chartered by the United States Congress in 1893 to build public service, and is now home to a prestigious faculty, guest speakers and visiting world leaders who are influential practitioners and prominent thought leaders.

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