I was born 31 years ago in a small town called Blitar in Indonesia. I was adopted by my parents and was frequently ill during childhood, presumably because of not being breastfed at all. I became committed to public health nutrition in 2003. In 2006 to 2007 I did my Master’s training in the field of community nutrition, in the school of population health at the University of Queensland, Australia. That’s when public health nutrition really became my passion.
In late 2007 I worked with the World Food Programme, conducting a follow-up survey of their nutrition rehabilitation programme in Madura, Lombok and West Timor, three Indonesian islands where malnutrition is very prevalent. In 2009 my project was helping to empower over 1,000 health care workers in Surabaya City to combat malnutrition among under 5 year old children. In Indonesia, a highly populated country, malnutrition remains a big public health problem – 17.9 per cent among under 5s. Now obesity is also beginning to be a problem, at 4 per cent among children, according to the national basic health survey in 2010.