Sheela Krishnaswamy, a Registered Dietitian (RD) with over 34 years of professional experience in the clinical, corporate and communication spaces, is the National President of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) till December 2018.
She is the first dietitian from IDA to be a Director on the Board of International Confederation of Dietetic Associations (ICDA) (has more than 2,00,000 dietitians as members across the globe) in 2008. She was the editor of ICDA newsletter, Dietetics Around the World from September 2008 to November 2016. She is the ICDA representative for India and Member, Board of Directors of ICDA from September 2016 to September 2020.
She has been a regular contributor to various publications for the last 21 years across the country to promote preventive nutrition. Besides Sheela was chapter contributor to “Smart Eating for Smart Kids” and "Comprehensive Textbook of Applied Nutrition and Dietetics" (to be published). She was co-Editor of Clinical Dietetics Manual.
In January 2000, she founded NICHE, a pioneering nutrition consulting firm that offered consultancy services like menu consultation, individual diet counselling, nutrition lectures and workshops, calorie count, health camps, training for caterers, health tips, nutrition articles, medical lectures, kitchen hygiene checks, school nutrition programs, nutrition survey, training for young dietitians, and so on.
Sheela was a part of the firm for almost 12 years. Talking about her career highs she said “Working in various areas of nutrition has been a golden opportunity for me. I began my career in the clinical nutrition space; then moved to preventive care; co-founded & managed a pioneering nutrition consulting firm which consulted for corporate companies pan India; was elected for the second time, to the Board of Directors of the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations (ICDA) in September 2016.
My strengths are diet counseling, public speaking, writing and editing.” Replying to the questions on her professional journey she said “When I began my career nearly 35 years ago, the profession of nutrition and dietetics was not widely known. I had no expectations then because I was the first in my circle of family and friends who had pursued this field of expertise. On the other hand, I had to explain to people what this profession was about. Thank goodness, things have changed tremendously today. Every food and health professional recognizes the importance of a dietitian, and her role in therapeutics as well as in keeping the population healthy. Moreover, the public is also aware of the importance of nutrition in building and maintaining health.”
“The profession of nutrition and dietetics is dominated by women. If I were to put an approximate figure, I would say that about 95% of qualified dietitians and nutritionists in India are women,” she adds while commenting on the challenges faced while climbing up the ladder in the male-dominated industry. Talking about her success mantra, she answers that commitment, innovative thinking, confidence, regular knowledge updation, hard work, humbleness and honesty has been her success mantra.