Statement of Purpose
In my 1-Year Korean Language program, I plan to obtain a TOPIK level 4 or above as my main goal. Getting this level of Korean language will equip me with a better understanding and development for the next two upcoming years of the Master's program. Organizing my studying time and practicing outside the classroom through daily activities are tasks that I will prioritize in that first year. During my free time and weekends, I will focus on practicing my speaking skills and try to learn more about Korean traditions and culture. The Master's programs I am interested in are imparted mostly in Korean so I must obtain a high TOPIK score to succeed.
In the Master's studies program in Food and Human Nutrition, I hope to research the South Korean traditional diet focusing on the beneficial features for health promotion and disease prevention. My research will explore the South Korean nutritional transition to identify the determinants that influenced the modification of traditional diet and its subsequent health consequences. The rapidly increasing global levels of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases motivated me to make this research and develop efficient strategies for the prevention and treatment of these.
I will begin my research by conducting a general survey of the dietary structure and patterns of the traditional Korean diet starting by taking Food and Culture and Food and Nutrition courses followed by gathering information housed in Korean ethnical cuisine records and additional online databases. I will focus my attention on identifying the healthful elements of the traditional diet and analyzing their nutritional properties. For this analysis, courses like Functional Food Science, Food Analysis, and Advanced Biochemistry will give me the knowledge to justify and highlight the importance of attaching these elements as part of a nutritious diet.
Following the survey, I will focus my research on more meaningful and representative data on the prevalence of obesity and non-communicable diseases in South Korea before and after the main modifications of the traditional diet. I am interested in taking courses such as Clinical Nutrition, Nutritional Statistics, and Public Health which will be useful for the collection and understanding of data, statistical analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of my results.
For the last part of my research, I will review the secondary source materials related to the South Korean government's support for the initiatives of nutritional health promotion and the implementation of programs for the preservation of traditional food during the last several decades. My initial secondary sources include the programs, food-based dietary guidelines, and initiatives developed by the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, The Ministry of Health and Welfare, and The Korean Nutrition Society.
During the final months of my degree, I will write, edit, and complete my Master's dissertation under the supervision of a faculty professor. My proposal for this Master's project builds upon an ongoing interest in the creation of strategies and programs to promote the importance of a healthy diet for the preservation of health. My thesis seeks to reconsider the importance of retaining the healthful elements of traditional food to improve the nutritional status and reduce obesity and diet-related non-communicable disease cases. My work examines the South Korean nutritional transition, focusing on specific features that other countries might follow to retain the healthful elements of their traditional diets. My Master's dissertation proposes to take a different approach to promote the nutritional health of the country by supporting their food culture. My research requires a close examination of secondary and primary sources to establish the South Korean dietary transition review as well as implement my own analysis of its nutritional effects on human health.
These past two years, I worked on my social service in public and private institutions in Mexico City, gaining experience at providing nutritional education to the community, counseling, and nutritional treatment for several diseases. While most of my previous studies have focussed on the use of therapeutic diets for the treatment of diseases, my time at the University of the Incarnate Word and working with international students, altered my future academic goals. While I studied the healthful patterns of the traditional Asian diet, it sparked the fascination with the nutritional benefits of South Korean traditional food. It is my ongoing mission to perform focused research on the benefits of attaching to a healthy and functional diet for the prevention and control of diseases, by obtaining my Food and Human Nutrition Master's degree.
The Master's studies program in Food & Human Nutrition at Seoul National University, Hanyang University, and Chungnam University are best suited for my research interests and goals. I can complete my project during the two-year time frame and the modules offered. Particularly the courses on Food Culture, Food Analysis, Applied Nutrition, and Public Health are essential to my research. These Universities offer coursework, staff, and field practices that will provide me with a better understanding of how to identify, analyze, and implement healthful dietary elements of a traditional diet for improving the nutritional status of the population.
At Seoul National University I am most interested in working with Ph.D.Yoon Ji Hyun due to her research on the importance of the quality of a diet for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Ph.D.Hong Jae-hee's recent publications are based on Korean traditional dishes that are closely aligned with the subject of my research. At Hanyang University, with Ph.D.Kim Hyun-sook guidance I will have the opportunity to build up my own knowledge on functional foods and extend the scope of my knowledge to reflect their benefits on human's nutrition throughout the improvement of their diet. Ph.D.Eom Ae-sun's book "54 Korean Foods That Beat Cancer" will help as a tool for a better understanding of the benefits of Korean traditional foods on the treatment of diseases. Ph.D.Lee Sun-young and Ph.D.Kim Mee-Reeare professors at Chungnam University that I am looking forward to working with. Their research areas focused on functional foods and the evaluation of quality improvement of traditional food will help me as a guide to developing better research.
I hope to get the opportunity to go to South Korea to learn the Korean language and obtain my Master's degree, improve my skills as a scholar, and prepare myself for a future career in Food Services and counseling. This research will be helpful to improve the South Korean food-based dietary guidelines and influence other countries like Mexico, to examine the nutritional benefits of their traditional food to reduce obesity and dietary-related non-communicable diseases cases. As a future entrepreneur project, I want to pursue the creation of food services for different South Korean Institutions based on their traditional food to improve the consumer's nutritional conditions and more efficient labor development.