Center for Communications, Health and the Environment
Fall 2012Vol. 7, Issue 1
National & Global Movements Target Diets, Food Safety

CECHE Partners in D.C. and New Delhi to Boost Nutrition and Healthy Food Practices

Programs and partnerships promoting good nutrition and favorable food safety practices and policy are hallmarks of the Center for Communications, Health and the Environment (CECHE).  In 2011, the nonprofit, which previously helped produce influential television shows and series related to healthy food and lifestyle choices in Central and Eastern Europe, partnered with the Center for Science in the Public Interest to sponsor National Food Day in the United States (see lead article).  Complementing its ongoing support for Food Day, CECHE is also the force and funding behind two nutrition scholarship programs, one in Washington, D.C., and another in New Delhi, India.

Both scholarship programs are based in national capitals that house major inner-city ghettos rife with debilitating poverty, poor nutrition and substandard education.  And both programs are helping to tackle these issues by providing opportunities for nutrition majors to develop and hone skills for community-based nutrition and dietetics intervention.  The D.C. program specifically supports hands-on experiences for undergraduates and master’s students to assist in career development, while the Indian initiative funds master’s and doctoral research.

Camilla Henry

To date, 41 nutrition and dietetics majors have received scholarships as part of CECHE’s Nutrition Scholarship Program at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).  In addition to encouraging future generations to take up the mantle of health and nutrition, the program has helped enliven the university’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.  Since the awards were introduced in 2001, student enrollment has increased 62 percent, and the department now retains almost 90 percent of its degree candidates.  Among these are Camilla Henry, a 2010 Nutrition Scholarship recipient who is following in the footsteps of 2009 awardees Laura Butoyi and Antoinette Gale-Monk, and whose goal is to become a nutritionist and conduct research on the correlation between nutrition and the rehabilitation of persons with respiratory problems.  In fall 2010, UDC launched a master’s program in nutrition and dietetics with an emphasis on public policy, communications and clinical research, and future CECHE Nutrition Scholarship winners are expected to include more graduate students.   

Meanwhile, India’s Lady Irwin College awarded its ninth round of CECHE-sponsored nutrition and public health scholarships in 2011.  CECHE joined forces with the school’s Food and Nutrition Department in 2003 to give its graduate and post-graduate students an opportunity to enhance their training and research.  At least three nutrition and public health grants are awarded each year — two to master’s candidates and one to a doctoral student, on a merit-cum-means basis.

To date, 30 Lady Irwin students have received scholarships, including 2011 recipients:

  • Arushi Jain, a master’s student assessing the intake of selected food additives among Delhi adolescents age 13 to 19
  • Kanika Banga, a master’s candidate investigating the probiotic nature of the conventional Indian fermented pickle by natural lactic acid fermentation
  • Shavika Gupta, a doctoral student evaluating anthropometric indicators and their appropriateness for assessing the nutritional status of young children with regard to feeding practices, the early identification of growth faltering and morbidity via a mixed longitudinal study of more than 2,300 children under age 6 in the Haiderpur slums of Northwest Delhi.
2011 Indian scholarship winners (left to right): Arushi Jain, Kanika Banga and Shavika Gupta

Dedicated to improving health and well-being worldwide, CECHE will continue to support these initiatives, as it looks for additional ways to collaborate to boost nutrition and food standards throughout the global food chain. 

Read More:
Lead Article: Food Day Aims to Improve Diets, Strengthen Healthy Food Movement
Spotlight Article:
Eat Safe: Sweeping Policy Reforms, Surveillance and New Strategies Combat Global Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness

Copyright © 2012 Center for Communications, Health and the Environment (CECHE)
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