#IAmNYAS: Sophie Goudet, PhD
Published June 29, 2018
There are significant gaps in our scientific understanding of many areas of nutrition science, but one area in particular that is in need of more research is women's nutrition. Our Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science has been funding research in this area since 2012, and some of the scientists who have received that funding are doing really exciting work, including Academy Member Sophie Goudet, PhD. Learn more about Sophie and her research below.
What is your current research focused on?
My research aims to explore the impact of early employment on young women’s nutrition and diet in Yangon, Myanmar, specifically in the garment sector. The rapid growth in this sector is fueling a dynamic rural – urban migration and a significant proportion of young women are malnourishe. More evidence is required to understand the challenges faced nutritionally for this segment of the population.
What led to your interest in this subject?
My previous research has demonstrated the challenges encountered by working mothers trying to care adequately for their infants and young children in poor urban settings in India, Bangladesh, and Kenya. In Myanmar, women start working at an early age and their challenges are important to understand for their own health and for their future children’s health and growth. Undernourished women are more likely to give birth to children who will also be malnourished.
What impact do you hope this research will have?
Myanmar is experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization and little research exists related to these areas. This research will contribute to engaging stakeholders at the government level, city level, and factory level to identify solutions to tackle malnutrition amongst a young workforce. My work will lead to further exploration on how to link traditional health service delivery mechanisms and the private sector in poor urban settings.
Who has been your biggest science inspiration?
There are many! I am inspired by those scientists who can effectively use scientific evidence to challenge social paradigms. Too often evidence and knowledge are not enough to overcome social dogma. Copernicus, Robert Koch, and Hans Rosling are a few from across the ages.
Supporting and convening researchers looking at women’s health and nutrition has long been a focus for the Academy. Read one of our latest eBriefings on the topic here: Improving Women’s Health: HIV, Contraception, Cervical Cancer, and Schistosomiasis