As a person working in nutrition it is important to be actively involved in professional organizations.
These organizations provide a place for you to network with other individuals working in your field. You can share knowledge and resources that will benefit the work that you do and the people you aim to help. You will attend conferences which expose you to the latest research in the field and you will have access to important peer-reviewed journals. Being a member of these organizations lets a potential employer know that you are up-to-date with the current practices in the field.
If you become a registered dietitian you will automatically become part of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) in order to maintain your status. The ADA also supports many practice groups which you can be associated with. For example, Behavioral Health Nutrition, Food and Culinary Professionals, Healthy Aging, Weight Management and Vegetarian Nutrition are all practice groups of the ADA.
There are also other professional organizations open to dietitians and nutritionists, as well as professional journals you can subscribe to. These organizations provide educational research conferences and peer-reviewed journals or publications for their members.
American College of Nutrition
American College of Sports Medicine
American Journal of Health Promotion
American Public Health Association
American Society for Nutrition
Dietary Managers Association
International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals
School Nutrition Association
Many nutrition organizations such as those listed above also offer chapters for student membership available through colleges and universities with nutrition programs.
Students enrolled in these programs should become involved in these organizations. Your involvement can especially improve your chances of being matched to a dietetic internship if you seek to become a registered dietitian. They also provide a place for networking among aspiring nutrition professionals. In addition, as a student member you can receive peer-reviewed journals and attend conferences as discounted rates.