Linking life-style possibilities and nutritious ageing | News

A health and fitness crisis drove Sherri Cuffe, MPH ’23, to investigate the influence of nourishment and training on high-quality of everyday living

Might 19, 2023—Sherri Cuffe in no way concerned a lot about her health and fitness till about ten a long time in the past, when she suddenly turned pretty unwell. She was bedridden and in pain for months as medical doctors worked to figure out what was mistaken. When she was eventually diagnosed with numerous autoimmune problems which includes celiac disorder, Cuffe established about discovering how she could enhance her excellent of daily life via food and exercise—and afterwards made use of her awareness to start two overall health-concentrated enterprises. Now, as a graduate of Harvard T.H. Chan University of Public Health, she’s concentrated on checking out ways that way of living modifications can aid persons cut down their hazards for age-similar ailments.

The seeds for her desire in wholesome getting older have been planted early in her occupation. Cuffe was a health care technician at an assisted dwelling home though she was an undergraduate at UCLA. There, she worked with a number of citizens around the age of 80 and observed the good effects that social interaction and very good dietary decisions had on their wellbeing and cognitive abilities.

When Cuffe started off experiencing her personal substantial wellbeing challenges various years later, she took a deep dive into the healing likely of way of life modifications. Her top action item: switching what she ate.

An entrepreneur is born

Cuffe grew up in Los Angeles, as section of a massive Persian loved ones with loaded culinary roots. Cooking was an important section of her life, but the classic food items she grew up with tended to be superior in considerably less-wholesome foodstuff these kinds of as pink meat. To make improvements to her wellness, she targeted on incorporating more healthy meals like vegetables and whole grains, while removing processed ingredients and those people that could exacerbate autoimmune diseases. Not seeking to give up her adore of baking, she switched to gluten free recipes, which are encouraged for people with celiac condition. These proved to be a strike with mates and family members, who encouraged her to get started a small business.

It had been about a 12 months because her diagnoses, and Cuffe was eventually emotion like she was recovering and regaining her strength. The time was ideal for a new problem. “I was driven to obtain a way I could have an impact on the excellent of life of other people,” she claimed.

Cuffe launched Cookie Collective in LA in 2015, and available products and solutions that were cost-free of the prime eight foods allergens, such as wheat, peanuts, and dairy. She taken care of just about every factor of the organization, which include having her have kitchen commercially licensed, creating the recipes, undertaking all the baking, and creating deliveries. She also educated the retailers she worked with all over meals allergy awareness and the value of furnishing healthier solutions. “It was difficult get the job done,” she mentioned, “but the possibility to support persons who ended up struggling from allergies and autoimmune problems like me created it worth it.”

Right after 3 decades, she determined to shut the small business and start a new firm targeted on Pilates-centered actual physical remedy, a apply she’d located had assisted her deal with her long-term ache. By way of this get the job done, she grew to become intrigued in not just assuaging signs or symptoms by way of diet and exercise but avoiding serious disorders in the 1st area. When the COVID-19 pandemic strike and Cuffe was compelled to close this small business, she determined to consider the opportunity to even further her studies in nourishment.

A holistic view of longevity

Cuffe chose Harvard Chan Faculty for the prospect to gain official investigate training from accomplished school, and to research with students with assorted backgrounds and encounters from close to the planet. She gained her learn of community health and fitness (MPH) degree in wellbeing sciences, with concentrations in maternal and youngster health and fitness and worldwide well being.

For her MPH practicum, Cuffe labored as a investigate affiliate with the Oxford Institute of Populace Ageing. There, she conducted an assessment of the aged person’s integrated treatment technique in the British isles and identified gaps in the exploration on getting old and lifestyle aspects, together with diet. Her venture also explored the effect of intergenerational interactions on high quality of lifetime.

Cuffe also worked as a research assistant and workout trainer at Dana-Farber Most cancers Institute although earning her diploma. Together with Christina Dieli-Conwright, affiliate professor in the Section of Nutrition, she examined how individualized training interventions improve cancer outcomes. “This extraordinary working experience led me to a renewed focus on longevity from a holistic stage of see,” Cuffe stated.

“Sherri exemplifies a person of the most inspiring traits of MPH students: she pulls alongside one another experiences and knowledge across many various domains, like her activities in business and in exploration, and then brings together that with new tips to move interventions ahead,” claimed her advisor Erica Kenney, assistant professor of public health nourishment. “I’ve acquired a whole lot from her about nutrition and longevity and am excited to see what inventive applications she helps make for her understanding in her career—I have no doubt she will have an influence to make improvements to longevity and quality of daily life for more mature older people going forward.”

Soon after completing her coursework this winter season, Cuffe moved to Singapore. The country’s existence expectancy is among the best in the earth, and the govt has been getting motion to improve elder treatment. “It’s an thrilling place to be to do longevity exploration,” Cuffe said. She’s at the moment checking out solutions at various biotech companies performing in the industry.

“In the very long time period, I hope to turn out to be a leader in the longevity field,” she explained. “I want to enable folks all over the world enhance their high-quality of life and extend it by means of nourishment and life style interventions.”

Amy Roeder

Photo: Courtesy of Sherri Cuffe

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