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Today I’m excited to chat with one of my former classmates, Timilehin Omilana. He’s worked in Public Health in Nigeria and UK and has transitioned to clinical practice in the UK, qualifying as a dietitian recently.

Why is diversity important in Nutrition & Dietetics?

Timilehin Omilana, Newly qualified Dietitian

Where you can find him:

Twitter: @timmiey2

LinkedIn: Timilehin Omilana

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your current role?

My name is Timilehin Omilana, and I am from Nigeria. I had my Bachelor’s degree in
Nigeria (Human Nutrition and Dietetics) and then postgraduate studies in the UK (MSc. Public Health Nutrition and MSc Dietetics). I previously worked as a Public Health Programme manager before moving into the clinical setting. My niche is Public
Health improvement.

What was your most interesting client encounter?

A client who was newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes but wanted a drug to be
prescribed and not have to change his lifestyle.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced moving into this field?

Being a male in the Nutrition profession in itself is challenging. Most high
achieving males are in the academia; I do not think I want to go down that route.

What’s your favourite meal?

Beans and Bread.

What are your thoughts on diversity in N&D?

I think Nutrition and Dietetics has not portrayed diversity as much as I would love. Everyday when I am on the wards attending to patients, I get asked always ‘ are you the Doctor? Are you the Pharmacist? When I say I am the Dietitian, I get this weird stare  and comments like ‘why are you a Dietitian? Are dietitians not just females? If health professionals can make such comments, how much more the general public?

Truthfully, if you google search ‘Nutritionist’ or  ‘Dietitian’, all you see is a white female with pictures of fruits. Being male and black in the Nutrition profession seems like a lonely path.

What’s your biggest pet peeve in terms of being a registered dietitian?

Being asked the amount of calories in foods.

Black or Blue ink pens?

 Black pen please.

If you could summarise your career as a nutrition professional in 3 words, what would they be? 

 Challenging, evolving, constant-learning.

What advice would you give to black youth considering nutrition & dietetics as a career?

Nutrition and Dietetics gives you a great background which you can build your career on. You do not necessarily have to become a Nutritionist/Dietitian, stuck behind a desk and computer giving advice to clients all day, or providing menu plans to different people. Dietetics offers a wide range of clinical specialties, where you can actually practice and contribute significantly.

Also, Health promotions, health improvement, Public health roles also provide great satisfaction and fulfilment. Whatever you love and enjoy doing, Nutrition and Dietetics can give you a platform.


Post Author: Christina

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