(MENAFN – The Peninsula)
Doha: Head of Department of Human Nutrition at Qatar University (QU) Dr. Tahra El Obeid, has highlighted the importance of good health to individuals and society.
Dr. El Obeid also noted that the Human Nutrition Dept at QU is dedicated to implementing education, research, and outreach activities designed to promote a safe, nutritious, accessible, and affordable food that enhances human health.
‘Health is the most important asset to humanity, and the way to be healthy is through nutrition. Nutrition will aid in the development and change of health, for the individual and the community. Several factors affect people’s health, including genetics and the environment in which they live. Nutritional applications can even treat diseases caused by genetics, Dr. El Obeid said.
‘The health of society is directly proportional to the health of the individuals constituting the society, she added.
Dietitians are the only healthcare professionals competent and knowledgeable in human nutrition. Hence, dietitian’s education is essential for accurate counseling. QU offers the ‘Supervised Professional Practice,’ a training process for students who want to become competent dietitians.
The Human Nutrition Department has full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND recognition is granted to dietetics programmes located in colleges or universities outside the US based on a review of an eligibility application, self-study, and site visit by ACEND.
Recently, the Human Nutrition Department launched a new Master of Science (MSc) degree, where students can practice advanced course work in the biochemical, clinical, community, and behavioural aspects of nutrition.
While discussing new researches by the department, Dr. El Obeid said: ‘Faculty members from the Human Nutrition Department have several research grants at a national and international level and are currently working on studies related to the non-communicable diseases, obesity, food safety, Qatari foods and some on the relationship between nutrition and COVID-19.
Current research by the department includes screen time, fast food consumption concerning glycemic control, vitamin D and dietary patterns, the relationship between bone mineral density and body composition among Qatari females, Qatar Biobank for Medical Research (QBB) data, plant-based diet, and its association with cancer, rice intake and cognitive function among Qatari adults and serum magnesium and body composition among Qatari adults.
‘These researches have a direct effect on Qatar and globally. The availability of precise information relating to a population’s nutritional status and the health outcomes associated with it is an important factor for the development of policies and procedures that would help alleviate the nutrition-related diseases, she added.
She said nutrition awareness events would be conducted in March and April, including the ‘SMART START’ event, which will provide many nutrition awareness activities for children in public and private schools. The ‘Healthy and Active Employees’ event targets the QU community, includes a nutrition awareness webinar and focuses on healthy culinary techniques to modify traditional Qatari, Asian, and Arabic cuisine.
Furthermore, a series of workshops entitled ‘Beginning your Path to Success’ will be delivered to alumni to update and boost their knowledge.
The Department of Human Nutrition also continues to expand its other outreach activities, while new virtual platforms have made it even easier to reach many people.
‘Despite the challenges, The College of Health Sciences has managed to move steadily ahead, and the past year has been filled with numerous accomplishments in several areas such as teaching, research, community service, and events, Dr. El Obeid added.
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