Dietetics and public health nutrition

Dietitians are involved in nutrition and health education programs. This can be at the local community level or for the population at a national level. Dietitians working in public health also assist with health planning, setting nutritional standards and developing and implementing nutrition policies.

What is public health nutrition?

Public health nutrition focuses on issues that affect the whole population rather than the specific dietary needs of individuals. The emphasis is on promoting health and disease prevention.

Public health nutrition exists within an extensive infrastructure of government and non-government organisations, service and program delivery systems and the food supply system, covering production through to consumption.

What do Public Health Dietitians/Nutritionists do?

Public Health Dietitians/Nutritionists have skills in program planning, implementation and evaluation and food and nutrition policy development to help improve the health of populations.

Employment can be permanent or funded short term positions.

Areas of employment

  • health promotion
  • community education and awareness campaigns
  • program planning and implementation
  • project management
  • food regulation
  • administration
  • counselling and consultation
  • research

Job titles/roles

Public Health Dietitian, Community Dietitian, Public Health Nutritionist, Child Health Nutritionist, Nutrition Coordinator, Project or Program Officer, Project Manager, Health Officer, Health Promotion Officer, Food and Nutrition Policy Adviser, Health Policy Administrator, Nutrition Educator, Public Health Policy Officer.


  • Public and home health agencies
  • Social service agencies
  • Community health centres
  • Federal, state and local government
  • Department of human services
  • Day care centres
  • Health and recreation clubs
  • Health maintenance organisations (HMO's)

Graduate profile

Robyn Delbridge (PDF, 29.5KB) graduated from the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2006 at Deakin University.

Expert in the area

Kathy McConell (PDF, 12.7KB) is currently the coordinator of the Food Alliance, a newly created advocacy body pursuing evidence-informed food policy and regulatory reform to enable sustainable food security and healthy eating.

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