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How we made nutrition our business

Uncovering the science of food
With a passion for all things food and science, Anna and Alex pursued postgraduate study to build a career in both. Now accredited practising dietitians, they share the journey that led them to run their own nutritional myth-busting business.
Alex and Anna, Founding Directors of The Biting Truth

Anna Debenham and Alex Parker, Founding Directors of The Biting Truth

Why did you decide to study the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics?

Having both come from big families, where health was a focus, food has always played an important role in our lives. We have always been interested in food, not only from a social point of view but also the impact that different foods can have on our ability to perform both physically and mentally.

While studying the Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney, we were exposed to a couple of Nutrition subjects which really appealed to us. Coupled with our interest in the impact of food (and the fact that we are both science geeks!), we decided to study the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics.

What did you get out of your study?

The Master of Nutrition and Dietetics helped us to gain a deeper understanding of complex nutritional science and how the body responds to food. We learnt about the importance of food in preventing and managing a variety of chronic diseases and the potential for future interventions. The degree also provided the opportunity to experience many different avenues of dietetics with placements in corporate and industry nutrition, as well as private practice and clinical. 

We all know how much misinformation there is around food and nutrition. Our study really highlighted the importance of being able to critically analyse nutritional studies and how to get to the bottom of what they are actually showing - without jumping to conclusions. 

Where are you now?

We are now the Directors of The Biting Truth, which is a nutrition consulting business that we co-founded whilst completing our Masters. It was born out of curiosity and in an attempt to raise the profile of dietitians on social media. After completing our degree and spending a couple of years in the workforce, we took the big leap and went full time with The Biting Truth.

Our business operates as a nutrition consulting company, working with a range of small and large businesses. We are very interested in childhood nutrition and are doing some amazing work in this sector. 

What does an average day of work look like?

As a consulting company, work for us is very varied - which we love! A typical day could include writing a nutrition piece for a media outlet like Huffington Post or the Daily Mail, working with a childcare centre who we’ve partnered with on menu development and allergy management, preparing for an upcoming event (either speaking or catering), corporate wellness days, or even working with a food brand.

We love that we get to choose which projects we work on and that those projects are actually making a difference in people’s lives. 

What advice would you give to someone considering this degree?

If you have a passion for food and science then this is the degree for you! It is a science-based course, so it is important that you really love the nitty-gritty of science. Once you start the program seek opportunities to get work experience in areas that you're interested in - it will make a huge difference once you graduate.

The Master of Nutrition and Dietetics is a Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) accredited postgraduate degree, which allows you to gain qualifications to pursue a career as a nutritionist or dietitian.

28 September 2018