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Interview with Prof. Dr. Chin-Kun Wang

 

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Prof. Dr. Chin-Kun Wang

 

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As the COVID-19 pandemic has affected countries from all over the world, many people face issues in terms of food supplies. What is your opinion, as a food nutrition expert, the personal and social effects of the SARS-CoV-2?

To provide stable and safe food supply is very critical at this pandemic period. Basically, coronavirus could be killed after heating processing. The correct and well done foods are greatly recommended for people in this period. For industry, well controlled sanitary system and critical control points have to be confirmed. In addition, to stop the pandemic in the factory is the first priority.

 

How can, in your opinion, academics, food nutrition companies and governments work together in order to make progress and defeat a series of stringent issues regarding food nowadays: food waste, famine, food shortages etc.? Can you give us a good practices example?

Usually the food waste, famine, food storage problem are based on the regulation. So the cooperation and complete communication among academics, food nutrition companies and governments are very important. In addition, good bridge together with the global regulation is also required. Every year, the food wasting problem occurs around the world, and almost two thirds are from different regulation and rules. The question is not from the foods, but from the regulation. In order to remove the gap among countries is very important to treat this issue.

 

Eating habits have been developed within societies for centuries and some have changed very little in time (ex. eating pork or chicken). We don’t always eat what’s right for us and this affects both ourselves and the environment. What can food nutrition experts do in order to create a new food order and educate people more on what they should consume (or not) and how?

Eating habits varied from regions because of culture, ethnic and geography. To save the foods and our environment, education is required. Before education, real understanding about the difference and eating habits could be summarized. And then, correct nutrition and health benefits can be added into the education program. This can help to reduce the gap and misunderstanding and promote the need of food in human being.

 

What is your opinion on personalized nutrition? Do you think personalized nutrition will be implemented soon?

Personalized nutrition is very important for health, including disease prevention, balanced nutrition intake, and health promotion. However, big data is required. In addition, illness history, dietary record, medication, physical examination, epigenomic and microbiota data are also included. This is a network and could include various experts, for examples food scientists, nutritionist, medicine, pharmacy, risk analysis, and so on. When the relationship and personalized nutrition are set up, the alert and recommendation system can help people to achieve the real health.

 

What do you think people will eat in twenty years’ time? Will our food habits remain the same?

Eating is not only for survival, it also includes culture and art. This is the reason why diet is well developed together with human history. However, when people get more information and knowledge, correct food habits could be changed. Personalized nutrition could be included here.

 

As population increases, demand for more food products spikes. Many claim that food doesn’t taste the same as it did a generation ago due to the high demand, long supply chains and short delivery periods. Has the disappearance of the “eat local” concept caused health, as well as environmental issues?

Technology really shorten our distance and communication. Different kinds of food and processed foods are delivered from any corner of the world. But recent studies clearly show that local foods are suitable to local people. Personalized nutrition could provide the key to this solution.

 

If food nutrition experts had the power to instantly change three things about our food today, what would those things be and why?

I greatly recommend nutrition experts cooperate with all fields of experts to resolve the challenge. Only the single power is difficult to treat.

 

What are, in your opinion, the current trends in food nutrition and how do you think they will evolve in the current period?

As mentioned earlier, our world is a village. Usually one food is composed of ingredients from the different area of the world. The uni-regulation for all ingredients and foods have to achieve as soon as possible. If food regulation is still based on single area, the restriction could greatly influence the usage and consumption of food in the world.

 

As invisible attackers, such as the SARS-CoV-2 keep assaulting our societies, there is a constant need of defense against them. Science usually is the best shield and that is why, in such times, people tend to look more closely into scientific solutions. Sometimes, children are the best audience for scientific education. Do you have favorite scientific materials or documentaries for children that you would recommend?

Risk is a good chance. From SARS-CoV-2, we need to learn more about sanitary control, especially personal health. Correct hand washing, mask wearing and good ways to prevent the outspread of bacteria and virus could become a very good practice for future education.

 

How can we bring children closer to the field of food nutrition and healthy eating? How would you envision a curriculum including basic principles of food nutrition and healthy eating for school students? It is very important to educate children to know the real foods, nutrition value and relationship of health. Of course, transfer the knowledge into real practice to promote the health of children is very important. Health anthopometric characteristics are also involved, including body weight, body fat and height. A whole understanding for the students and correct practice (healthy eating and physical activity) actually can promote the health of school students.

 

What are, in your opinion, the main advantages of a career in food nutrition and why would you recommend this field to upcoming students?

For nutrition and food industries, young generations are play an important role. Advanced learning, scientific progress and evidence-based science are attractive to young students. The contents of current education must be enriched more, e.g. engineering, bioscience, health related, artificial intelligence.