Yuan Li: Eat better and lead a healthy life

Li Yuan is the head of the Nutrition and Health Program unit at The George Institute for Global Health, China, and is currently responsible for the FoodSwitch and SmartDiet projects.

How long have you been working at the institute?
I joined the George in 2017 and May is my fifth month here.

What is your professional background?
My doctorate is in nutrition and food hygiene, with a research direction of public nutrition. I participated in the national nutrition survey, CHNS and other research projects. After graduation, I worked at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing Haidian District and China CDC, and engaged in nearly 10 years of chronic disease prevention and control. I also have carried out a healthy lifestyle action plan, community chronic disease management and evaluation, and other projects.

What attracted you to work at The George Institute?
I seek a more focused and simpler work in my own areas of expertise, and The George Institute is right for my needs.

What does your work focus on?
I am currently working on two projects in nutrition and health: FoodSwitch and SmartDiet, both of which will collect information on various nutritional ingredients including packaged foods, natural foods and culinary dishes. Then using mobile technology and a smartphone app, help everyone make healthier diet choices

What difference will this make to healthcare and why?
I think my work can contribute to effective prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

On one hand, you can make people more vividly, intuitively and easily understand the food nutrition information, and thus make healthier diet choices. On the other hand, the collection and analysis of a large number of food nutrition data can also provide the basis for our country to develop and improve food nutrition policy. Each of the two aspects is a  strategy to effectively prevent and control chronic diseases.

How do you explain to others the work you are doing?
In short, my job is to help everyone eat healthier.

To unwind at the end of the day you…

I like running, to exercise and empty my mind. I usually run in the Olympic Forest Park, because I like the runway there.