Loo-Yee Wong inspires and works to break stigmas through dietetics
Loo-Yee Wong hasn’t even been in the U.S. for two years, and she’s already creating positive change at Iowa State.
Moving from Malaysia to Ames as a sophomore, Loo-Yee said her background as a dancer sparked her interest in food and nutrition and led her to the decision to major in dietetics.
“There’s a stigma that ballerinas have to be skinny and eat a small portion of food, but that’s not the reality,” she said. “I didn’t know much about nutrition back [when I danced], and when I entered the dietetics path I started learning something new day by day.”
As for her career path, Loo-Yee hopes to work in a hospital as a registered dietician who makes diet plans for patients based on their needs.
“I actually really love it,” Loo-Yee said regarding working in a hospital, which she was able to do through an internship last summer. “[I enjoy being able to talk] to patients about what they need, special diets they need and prefer, [and] helping people improve their health.”
Outside of classes and work, Loo-Yee is involved in multiple dietetics-related organizations on campus, including Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness club (BIEDA), the Students Helping Our Peers Food Pantry (the SHOP), and Student Dietetic Association. She’s also a Peer Wellness Educator through Student Wellness, which she said involves giving presentations about topics such as eating disorders and nutrition.
One project Loo-Yee worked on as a Peer Wellness Educator was increasing the number of microwaves on campus. It took several months to find out what areas needed microwaves, get the approval to add them, and create a map to aid students in finding them. She said initiative was one of her proudest accomplishments in college so far.
Loo-Yee feels her involvement in Student Wellness and BIEDA is the most rewarding out of all of her other experiences at Iowa State because of the similar and important purposes of both.
“I like encouraging people and telling them they should love themselves, no matter what size or shape they are, and to enjoy food,” Loo-Yee said. “We should all respect our bodies and practice self love and self care.”