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Studying Abroad Summer Internship in Edinburgh, Scotland

Jessica Dominguez is a senior completing her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Foods and Nutrition in the Didactic Program in Dietetics. This past summer Jessica completed a six week summer internship at the Queen Margaret University in Edinburg, Scotland. There she conducted a pilot research study in consumer intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in the UK.

After an extensive application process, Jessica was selected to complete a phone interview which successfully secured her a spot to conduct her research abroad. The subject of Jessica’s research was: “To Assess Intakes of LC n-3 PUFA Using a Validated Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ).” To conduct the pilot study, Jessica did the following:

  • Collaborated on an application for ethical approval (facilitated by the supervisor)
  • Recruited participants
  • Analyzed dietary intake data from the FFQ using an established spread sheet
  • Presented a brief report providing a discussion of the intakes in relation to the UK dietary guidelines

Findings of the research study include:

Analysis of the results showed that fresh tuna, mackerel, pilchard and sardines had the greatest impact on DHA, DPA and EPA. These fish were commonly seen throughout the diets of those survey participants whose omega-3 fatty acid intake was well above the recommended intake. Generally, the participants in this study did not consume enough fish, meat or dairy products. There was a higher consumption of pizza, pasta/rice, breakfast cereals and chips. Potato crisps and nuts or seeds also tended to be higher in consumption. None of the participants consumed omega-3 yogurt and very few consumed cake, chocolate biscuits or cream filled sandwich biscuits.

Jessica says “Two of my favorite things are travel and nutrition. I love meeting new people and learning about a new culture, especially as pertains to food.” Jessica felt that the trip was an incredible opportunity to meld the two things that make her happiest, while at the same time broadening her experience in the nutrition field and making new contacts.