I was born in São Paulo in 1964. My parents were Portuguese descendants with low literacy. My father was diabetic and died from heart attack when I was 17. I attended public schools and then studied nutrition at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. All my father’s family members were overweight and diabetic. My mother died when I was 28 from cervical cancer. Like so many Brazilians my parents got sick as a consequence of their dietary practices, ways of life, poor health care and assistance, and I believe they were also victims of tobacco and unhealthy food marketing.
I want to make a difference in my country teaching and doing research with a focus on public health nutrition. The advance of knowledge in nutrition should follow an outstanding pattern with a clear commitment to public health
Associate professor of nutritional epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo (USP). Until recently I was director of the first graduate programme in public health nutrition in Brazil. I have master’s and doctoral qualifications in food science and in experimental nutrition (1992 and 1995, respectively). In 1995-1997 I lived in Japan for post-doctoral training in nutritional epidemiology with a scholarship for young scientists from the Ministry of Education, Brazil. Considering the nutritional transition in Brazil, I have been working on nutritional surveys in the Amazon region and also on epidemiological studies of diet and chronic diseases, mainly diabetes and cancer, and also studies on dietary assessment methods. Our previous papers on diet and chronic diseases have shown the importance of a large consumption of fruits and vegetables to prevent and/or control obesity, type 2 diabetes and cervical cancer in Brazilian adult population. In child health, we have described a comprehensive diagnosis of health and nutritional conditions in a typical Amazonian county, Acrelândia, which has a basic economic development model adopted in recent years, with socioeconomic indicators that are substantially lower than the national average. The fieldwork has been done with the participation of community health agents, nursing students from Federal University of Acre, and university level health professionals with training and local supervision by our research team. Our research team has been working in the assessment of environmental conditions and child health status (including assessment of anthropometric indices, biochemical indicators and morbidities – diarrhea, respiratory diseases and other infections), and providing basic health information and training for health workers, mothers and children, including cooking workshops to increase the consumption of local fruits and vegetables. Additional information in Portuguese, English and Spanish can be found at the blog http://www.frutosnorte.blogspot.com