Epidemiology is more than just investigating emerging infectious diseases in different parts of the world. For instance, in Week 6, you saw that social epidemiology explores the complex interactions of societal inequities in the occurrence of disease. Please select an epidemiological application/field (i.e. genetic, environmental, infectious disease) that you could see yourself selecting as a profession and provide some of the major skills that you need to acquire to enter the field. You can use the Epidemiology Monitor in order to look for job descriptions. For instance, for spatial epidemiology you would need to learn a geographic information system software in order to be an asset in the field.
Additionally, please select a current event in that particular field that has occurred recently. For instance, in genetic epidemiology you would need to understand the role of epigenetics more closely.
I’ve always been fascinated with nutrition and diet, a firm believer in eating clean and avoiding processed foods. For this discussion I choose the field of Nutritional Epidemiology, it examines the role of diet on health and disease. Today there are many additives and preservatives in food, nutritional epidemiology concentrates on diet and how it affects health and disease. For example, what is the role of sugar-sweetened beverages and diet sodas, do they contribute to weight gain or cancer? This field studies the impact of foods on health and disease outcomes, and the ultimately focuses on the prevention of disease.1
In the summer of 2015, the FDA banned the use of trans fats also known as partially hydrogenated oils for use in food. The FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils are not “generally recognized as safe,” food manufacturers have three years to comply or petition for use.1 Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol, the bad kind, and this ban is a prevention measure to help stop the increase in cardiovascular disease.2
2. Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Removing Trans Fat). Food and Drug Administration Website. http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm449162.htm. Update October 7, 2016. Accessed October 21, 2016.