University of Washington School of Public Health

Undergraduate Student Profile


Kain Ip

Junior, Medical Anthropology
Minor, Nutrition & Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Shenzhen, China

What interests you most about nutrition?

I’m always fascinated by what I learn in my nutrition classes. It's helped me to achieve a positive mindset, and I know that I can use the knowledge I’m gaining to help others.

One of the first classes I took at the UW was Nutrition 200: Nutrition for Today. I was learning things that I could use right after the class ended. 

What would you like to do in the future?

I’d like to combine my interests in nutrition and entrepreneurship by creating a lifestyle company in China. I’d provide nutritional advising, physical activity planning and family-wide goal setting, particularly for middle- and higher-income Chinese.

Why do you think a company like this is valuable?

Lifestyle companies are going to become more popular as the Chinese economy continues to grow. People in China are beginning to care more about what they eat and what they need to do to stay healthy. They want to know about nutrition, and how food fits into their lifestyles.

Are you from China originally?

I was born and raised in China, but went to high school in Oregon. My dad is from Hong Kong and my mom is from JinHua, China. When I was younger, I went to a boarding school in Shenzhen, China, just beyond the border with Hong Kong. In fifth grade, I studied abroad in Canada for half a year. The outside world amazed me, so I enrolled in an international program for high school and moved to Oregon when I was 16.

How did you find your way to the UW?

I was studying at St. Mary’s School in Medford. I applied to 10 colleges, including the UW, and was able to visit Seattle. I just knew I wanted to come here. I was so happy when I got in.

What did “healthy” mean to you when you were younger?

Before, “being healthy” was more about what I ate. My mom would just tell me to eat more vegetables and to drink lots of water. Now, I think it’s more psychological. I think about keeping my body clean and working on my overall happiness.

I’ve also learned the science of nutrition, which is not something I ever thought about growing up. I never thought about sugar or sodium, or the combination of carbohydrates and protein. After I took a few nutrition classes, I started cooking meals differently. When I cook now, I think I’m really eating something healthy!

What do you do in your free time to stay healthy?

I see “being healthy” more holistically. I go to the gym every day. I play sports, but only as a hobby. (I used to play golf and volleyball and swim in high school.) I love to cook – mostly Chinese dishes – and grocery shop. It takes me hours to shop, because I like to read all the nutrition labels.

Other than that, I read a lot. I’m currently reading a book about the Chinese business model compared to the American and Japanese models. I tend to read books that I can pull knowledge from right away. I also try to keep healthy relationships with my friends and family.

What experience at the UW has been most influential?

I’m lucky to serve as the president of a student organization (RSO) on campus called U Business and Academic Association. We gather resources together to help students interested in business and entrepreneurship maximize their academic and social experiences.

Do you have any interesting or unique facts about yourself?

When I meet new people, I read their horoscopes to try to get to know them better.

If you're interested in studying nutrition as an undergraduate, visit the Nutritional Sciences Program website.

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