UH to offer new master’s program
The UH Department of Health and Human Performance is accepting applications for its master’s in human nutrition.
HHP will offer the degree for the first time this fall, as was approved by the Texas Coordinating Board in January.
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.
Nutritional science emphasizes pathophysiology, the abnormal functions of the organs and the progression of heart diseases, whereas sports nutrition emphasizes the benefits of nutrition and good cardio vascular performance.
The degree will be the first HHP graduate program that focuses specifically on nutrition.
Bode said the master’s will not only benefit HHP, but also the city of Houston.
‘The Houston community will benefit from advanced training for the Registered Dietitians currently working in the Houston area, ‘ Bode said.’ ‘The incidence of obesity, diabetes and resulting heart disease is reaching epidemic proportions and trained health professionals will be even more in demand in coming years.’
Bode said she hopes a well-guided nutritional program can help deal with the obesity epidemic. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, obesity levels have reached highs with 33.3 percent of adult males and 35.3 percent of adult females in the U.S. obese.
NHANES also found that obesity among children and adolescents showed no significant changes between 2003-04 and 2005-06.
The survey showed 16 percent of children and adolescents from ages 2 to 19 were obese, representing the upper 95th percentile of the body-mass index for age-growth charts.
Human nutrition master’s candidates will receive courses in physiology exercise, cancer prevention, epidemic of obesity, nutrition relating to the heart and endocrine system, obesity and metabolic diseases, as well as administrative courses on exercise and health.
Bode expects enrollment for the new program to reach full potential by the fall semester.
Graduates of the program can pursue careers in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, government agencies, professional and amateur athletic teams, weight management counselors and private practice.
HHP offers master’s programs in health education, physical education, allied health education and administration, and a doctorate in kinesiology.
Students interested in information on the human nutrition master’s degree or other HHP programs can visit http://www.hhp.uh.edu.