Working with children with cystic fibrosis, I learned that there are big differences in people´s attitudes towards quality of life. Young children in pain and restricted in their daily life, nevertheless laugh and enjoy their days when they are supported by parents who are aware of the limited possibilities and life expectancy of their children. It became very important for me to improve the quality of life of these children. And it was a great moment when I recognised that their everyday life did indeed get better because of my intervention and support.
During my work with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups I realised that improving knowledge on healthy ways of life – including well-balanced diets and regular physical activity – does not solve problems. Most people don´t benefit from excellent research work, or personalised nutrition. They have to manage everyday life with marginal resources.
Even though, as a nutritionist, I am very interested in the results of the latest research, I learned that health depends a lot on socio-demographic factors. Molecular biology and chemistry are relevant to the exploration of nutritional issues, but laboratory work can never replace the influence of human interaction and an been and avid interest in the human condition. Human health is determined and affected by an incredibly complex and ever shifting combination of nutritional, physical, and also social and political factors.
That’s why I attach special importance to the collective work of experts in the field of public health nutrition.