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See Articles by Viktoriya Wolff
When I first moved to the US, I was shocked by how many packaged and prepared foods there were available. Even fresh foods were vast and included organic offerings. I made several discoveries for myself that year: produce would not spoil and looked almost plastic which no bugs would touch, milk could stay a month or more and would never separate the fat and fruit juices could last months refrigerated. Yet there is a huge percentage of people in one of the most industrialized countries still suffering from diseases related to malnutrition and overconsumption of high caloric foods. And the expenses that goes with that, … let’s not go there. That was all so horrific and new for me; something that should be so natural and as simple as eating became so complicated and dangerous. Learning the importance of reading food labels and understanding marketing tricks was an additional task for me. I realized that one could make shopping a full-time job, just sorting out what’s edible at that big supermarket. High industrialization has made big changes in what is offered and what is consumed today and unfortunately it requires the public to be armed with some nutrition knowledge.
As I was trying to learn it all on my own, my interest in nutrition began to grow, which eventually brought me to Utah State University to receive a B.S degree in Nutrition Science with minor in Chemistry and Food Science. There are only a handful of Universities in US that have Nutrition Science programs that include several emphasis which are separate from Registered Dietitian programs and even fewer of them have both Master’s and PhD programs available like USU.
Today, my passion for nutrition and understanding its role and function is way beyond what I ever thought possible before I moved from Eastern Europe. I am involved in research, I also follow and critique nutrition studies, and I never take the conclusion for granted before I analyze the study design, methods and bias that can go with that. As the science of nutrition began to develop, there were several bumps on its way which brought some public misunderstanding and mistrust. This is why the nutrition findings and any other science findings must be analyzed, critiqued and replicated before journalists and food manufactures grab these findings as law. I feel it is important for nutrition professionals to help the public recognize the usefulness of the new findings. And that is what I am passionate about.