Interview with Tatiana Diacova, MS, RDN
Country Representative for Moldova
Tatiana is originally from Moldova and moved to the United States to get the best education possible in nutrition and dietetics. She completed her dietetic internship credentials in 2018 and is now studying for her PhD in nutritional biology. Her dissertation focuses on the gut microbiome and Mediterranean diet, evidencing the significance of prevention and nutritional interventions for lifestyle diseases.
Tatiana is a co-chair of Community Outreach in Northern California, emphasizing the need to promote dietitians as nutrition experts in the community, give back, and be more than an “influence” on social media. Her vision is prevention of misinformation to the public, and as members of health care teams. She will be the only registered Dietitian representative at a competitive workshop on science communication (Com Sci Con) coming up in Los Angeles, CA.
What are some country health issues impacted by nutrition?
The majority of causes of death in Moldova are related to lifestyle diseases, as demonstrated by the World Health Organization statistics.
What nutrition trends have you seen in Moldova?
Supplements and sponsors are well funded, thus advertised and consumed often. The public both needs and wants to have individualized nutrition recommendations. Nutrition information is outdated, especially with financial barriers and increased accessibility of information. Westernization is everywhere, and in Moldova it is increasingly popular to eat out and on the go. Some particular diets of interest are gluten-free, raw and vegan foods.
What are Moldovan foods, seasonings, rituals and recipes that are special to you?
Moldovan food is a mixture of Romanian and Russian. Fresh fruits and vegetables, pickled items and potatoes, wine from diverse vineyards and an emphasis on hospitality are all features of Moldovan culture.
What are opportunities and challenges of dietetics in Moldova?
Nutrition education in Moldova is not like it is in the United Sates, where you can get an official education in dietetics. In fact, the number of dietitians in Moldova is currently zero. One of the biggest challenges of dietetics is that nutrition information is tainted by profitability and popularity on social media, rather than valuing nutrition science as a public health matter. Tatiana’s dream is to start a nutrition education department in Moldova to increase access to nutrition experts in the community.
What inspired you to become involved with IAAND?
Having moved to a new country and moving from a country with no network of dietitians, Tatiana looked to IAAND for support. While completing her PhD, Tatiana would love to start a virtual public health program in Moldova. Being in an international network of dietitians allows for learning from each other, provides the “fuel” to keep giving back, and a team with similar goals to help promote healthy lifestyles.