Ever since he was young, Aaron Ang always wanted to help improve the health of the community. At that time, he was also always curious about how consuming food and nutrition can affect a person’s health. With this in mind, Aaron decided to become a dietitian so that he can engage people in improving their health status by advising them on the right diet and nutrition. This is also a career which he felt had plenty of opportunities as people are becoming more aware and turning towards a healthier lifestyle. Upon completion of his pre-university studies, Aaron embarked on his studies in nutrition and dietetics at the International Medical University (IMU). “I was interested to study in IMU because of the strong nutrition and dietetics faculty they had. At the same time, IMU was the only university that fitted both nutrition & dietetics into one programme”, said Aaron whose parents were very supportive of his choice of university and programme of study. They were also very interested to have a person in the family that can advise on food and health! Four years after joining IMU, he graduated in 2014 and since then, has been working in Medifoods, a food solution Food and Beverage (F&B) company that provides healthy food to the community. As a dietitian in this company, he focuses on these areas: healthy menu development, counselling, screening through products to be sold in our grocers (supplements or multivitamins), preparing educational materials, planning out health activities (cooking demo, educational booth), in house health talks / corporate health talks, and being involved in the daily operations of the F&B. According to Aaron, the Nutrition and Dietetics (N & D) programme in IMU (The Programme has since been renamed to Dietetics with Nutrition) relates a lot to his job. The N&D programme covers the food service and community modules well. “Most of the community activities or kitchen whereabouts are very familiar to me when I first started the job as I was well exposed to this during my years in IMU. Planning out a community event is also easy to me as we have been trained to do so many times in IMU!” Aaron tells us more in this interview. Your achievements / work experiences so far My achievements so far probably would be the healthy recipes we are serving in all of our restaurants right now, being one of the first companies to break through into a hospital serving healthy food and establishing nutrition counselling services in Medifoods. My experience here in Medifoods has been great so far. Being able to serve people healthy and delicious food is very rewarding especially to those people who are having health issue(s) and are afraid to eat anything else. To my surprise, I have learnt that there are many people in the community who have all sorts of questions about food and nutrition but had no one to ask besides the dietitian in the hospital, thus I was able to help many to clarify food myths or health issues regarding food.
Your future plans My future plans is to make Medifoods at least the top health food provider in Selangor and the central source of food knowledge on the e-space and also physical stores. Your advice to those who are aspiring to be dietitians Always make sure you have the passion to pursue what you are doing! You will see the difference in the progress and work you are in when there is passion in it. Be focused on what you want to do and achieve as a dietitian as this allows you to stay on the right path towards achieving your ultimate goal.