A dietitian walks into a nail bar...

Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful evening listening to five, fifteen minute speeches all about food and the future. Well, I mostly enjoyed it, apart from a few select moments; Michael Mosley showing us a picture of a diabetes-ravaged foot, George Monbiot telling us all about his habit of eating grasshoppers, but particularly Adrian Anthony Gill informing all dietitians in the audience they should "get a proper job", because apparently, we are just "people who couldn't get a job in a nail-bar". So Mr. Gill, please find below a summary of why you are wrong; a testament as to why, in fact, dietitians would be perfect working at a nail-bar:

  1. Both jobs require people people: Unlike some other areas of health, nutrition cannot be prescriptive and 'one size fits all'. Dietitians have to be able to talk to people, gain their trust and empathise with the barriers they have to overcome in order to make a lifestyle change. Food, as you said yourself Adrian, is highly emotive. It is not medicine, and we cannot treat it as such. That is why a dietitian has to be able to communicate effectively in order to tailor the advice they give. 

  2. Both jobs help people feel better about themselves: Hopefully, when doing the job properly, people come to dietitians with a problem and they go away feeling better about it. If they have an allergy they equip them with the knowledge to eat at restaurants without feeling scared, if they have part of their gut missing they help them know what to eat without being sick and missing out on vital nutrients; dietitians take facts and translate them into the knowledge that allows people to make an informed choice about what they eat.

  3.  Both jobs need to keep up with trends: There is always some nonsense circulating the papers and telling people what they should and shouldn't eat. Current crazes include "eat as much fat as you like", "honey isn't sugar" and "gluten is the devil". Dietetics has to adapt with the times, and separate the facts and the fiction. 

  4. Both jobs get belittled by Sunday Times food columnists: And I am not sure why you are so grouchy about them both, but I do hope you swing by for a consultation/file and polish if you ever need it...