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HHP to Offer New M.S. in Nutrition Program

The Department of Health and Human performance is offering a new Master of Science in Nutrition program, application are already being accepted for the new program.

The Master of Science degree is offered with a dual track in Sports Nutrition and Nutritional Science.

The nutritional science track of the MS program will produce practitioners with the unique ability to integrate the principles of both nutrition and exercise in the development and implementation of intervention and prevention programs. Sport’s nutrition is an emerging field that integrates an in-depth knowledge of the physiology of exercise and nutrition. Demand is increasing for practitioners who can integrate the skills of medical nutrition therapy, counseling, and the special nutritional needs of active individuals. Registered Dietitians are known for providing evidence-based information to clients, making them the premiere provider of nutrition information and counseling to athletes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow 15.2% between 2000 and 2010 as a result of increased emphasis on disease prevention through dietary habits.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III data indicate that 60-65% of adult Americans are overweight and approximately half of these could be classified as obese. The rate of obesity/overweight has increased 6% in the past 3-4 years. Rates of obesity among children and teens have increased rapidly over the past two decades; the number of overweight children and teens has nearly doubled to 22%. In 2005, 10.4 million Texans (64%) were either overweight or obese ranking Texas 10th nationally.

According to a report by the Texas Department of State Health Services, direct health care costs for obesity alone totaled 5.3 billion in 2003 dollars. Past trends and current data suggest that the incidence of obesity and obesity-related diseases will continue to rise. The need for trained professionals to deal with the obesity epidemic in a multi-disciplinary approach continues to increase. This degree will go a long way in meeting that demand.

The new degree program was featured in the Daily Cougar on March 04, 2009, below is an excerpt from the article

Program director Sharon Bode, who proposed the program more than one year ago, said it is an important addition to the department.

“UH already houses the largest undergraduate nutrition program in the area and is home to one of the largest dietetic internships in the country,” Bode said. “With our proximity and close working relations in the Texas Medical Center, it only makes sense for UH to be taking the lead in providing high quality graduate programs in this field.”

The degree incorporates nutrition and exercise science, and offers two tracks of study — sports nutrition or nutritional science.

Bode said both concentrations investigate the effects of nutrition and cardio vascular performance.

Read the entire article (pdf version)

The Master of Science in Human Nutrition Program

The Dietetic Internship Program