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Tell us what you do?

I am an Epidemiologist and a Registered Dietitian working as a Post doctoral Fellow at Emory. My current research focuses on understanding the relationships between chronic diseases, mental illness, and nutrition.

What did you study?

Nida Shaikh is a doctoral candidate in the Nutrition and Health Sciences program and the President of the Nutrition and Health Sciences Student Club at Emory University. By training, she is a Registered Dietitian having graduated with an MS in Nutrition from Georgia State University, an M.Sc in Dietetics from University of Pune, India and a B.Sc in Home Science from S.N.D.T. Womens’ University, Mumbai, India. Her professional goal is to establish a career in child nutrition research, specifically in targeting and improving global childhood malnutrition.

Tell us a bit about your work?

Against the backdrop of globalization and changing dietary patterns in low- and middle- income countries, her dissertation is focused on understanding food consumption patterns and the phenomenon of nutrition transition among adolescents. Nida spent a year as a NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellow in Vijayapura, India where she developed and evaluated a nutrition transition assessment instrument for adolescents. In the past decade, Vijayapura, a city in a remote but urbanizing region in Southern India is undergoing an expansion of its large-scale industries and has been witnessing the emergence of supermarkets and local street vendors.

To test the instrument, Nida recruited, trained, and led a thirteen-member field research team. The nutrition assessment instrument has been found to test well. With these promising results researchers can now use this instrument in future studies to investigate adolescent dietary patterns and food intake. She has also tested the instrument among adolescents in the urban city of Bangalore, India.

“It was an invaluable experience to conceptualize, develop, and carry out primary data collection through the evaluation of the dietary instrument in an urbanizing community in India”, says Nida. While on ground, the project was expanded to carry out a qualitative study of adolescents views on the healthfulness, modernity, and availability of foods and beverages in their local food environment. In addition, Nida spearheaded the documentation of a database of the available foods and beverages in Vijayapura through pictures. She envisions publishing this as a book.