Instead of the usual spring break routine, several MSU dietetics students headed to El Salvador to observe nutrition firsthand in a third world country. Carmen Boyd, dietetics program director, traveled with a group of students to El Salvador to study anthropometrics, nutrition education and malnutrition.
In health care, the term “disparities” refers to the unequal treatment of patients on the basis of race or ethnicity, and sometimes on the basis of gender or other patient characteristics. Anyone who is going into health care needs to understand this topic and these service learning opportunities offer great experiences. Trips like these tie into MSU’s public affairs mission.
Think about what you can do to reduce nutrition disparities in your community? Ideas include opening a free clinic, helping start a farmer’s market, or adapting nutrition education materials for those with a low literacy level.
There are lots of memories to be made on the trips! An MSU student who went to El Salvador states it best when she says, “The experience I had was unforgettable! It really opened by eyes to poverty and malnutrition in third world countries. I will never forget our visit to a rural public school where children were lucky to have cereal served with warm, unpasteurized milk for lunch. “