Even in childhood I was inclined towards the medical profession. I did my MBBS and later my residency in social and preventive medicine, leading to my MD. I also did a short term residency in paediatrics. Later I was trained in public health at the University of South Carolina in the US, with James Hebert, which has helped me to develop a fully global perspective.
While working in various parts of India, I have realised that India has a special problem with nutrition: on the one hand we see malnourished children, while on the other hand obesity is a problem in adults and children too, and is increasing due to changing ways of life.
India is a country where very diverse food practices are followed in different regions. It is not only a question of under- or overnutrition. A special aspect of Indian food is the use of a lot of herbs and spices in cooking and preparing food. Most of these ingredients have medicinal properties like anti-cancer, immune-modulating and anti inflammatory.
After my training in epidemiology, health management, public health and preventive medicine, I got interested in working in areas related with diet, physical activity and nutrition. I have worked in various aspects of nutrition like macrobiotic diets, micronutrients, nutrition in special groups like females at various stages of life, persons living in rural areas, and nutrition in reference to chronic non-communicable diseases.
I have helped develop innovative, low cost, and culturally acceptable approaches to address nutrition-related problems, with a special focus on the importance of changes in nutrition and ways of life. I was one of the team members responsible for development of cut-off points of measures of obesity and metabolic syndrome for Asian Indians.
I am a life member of the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine, where I have also served as executive member of the governing council for many years. Currently I am joint secretary of the association. In 2012 I became a fellow of the Association. I am also a life member and fellow of the Indian Public Health Association.