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K-State Today

July 10, 2015

College of Human Ecology's dietetics, human nutrition merge into single department

Submitted by Jane P. Marshall

The dietetics and nutrition programs will merge into a single department this fall.

The merge was approved June 17 by the Kansas Board of Regents.

"They are a logical fit because of the overlapping principles of the two disciplines. Merging nutrition and dietetics into one department will strengthen both programs to benefit our students, our research and the people our graduates will serve in the future," said John Buckwalter, dean of the College of Human Ecology.

The Department of Human Nutrition will be renamed this fall, he said. Dietetics was formerly part of the Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics, which has been renamed the Department of Hospitality Management.

Human nutrition is the science of interpreting the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food with human life and health.

Dietitians integrate the knowledge of nutrition and education theory with experience and research to help people make healthful food choices and improve health and wellness. Registered dietitian nutritionists, or RDNs, work in food service management and clinical nutrition settings such as business and industry, wellness programs, health care facilities and private practice.  

"By merging nutrition and dietetics, the new department will strengthen its reputation in training health and pre-health professionals in the state," Buckwalter said. "Graduates of this department become physicians, RDNs, public health professionals, dentists, athletic trainers and food scientists.

The new department will continue to offer the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees previously housed in separate units.

Degree options in the newly reorganized department include athletic training, consumer behavior and sensory analysis, dietetics, nutrition and kinesiology, nutritional science, public health nutrition and public health physical activity.