I was so fortunate to attend -for the first time- to the largest nutrition and dietetics conference in the world. I had to travel to the other hemisphere but it totally worth it. Wow… The American Dietetic Association really knows how to put together a conference! It was held last week in the beautiful sunny city of San Diego. The Convention Center was so huge that I actually did my daily workout by walking around it. Also, the energy felt in the air …with thousands of dietitians under one roof …was amazing and inspiring (there were around 9000 attendees). FNCE is not only a place to learn and get updated on the changing field of nutrition, it is also a true opportunity to network with peers and grow personally and professionally.
So, I would like to share with you some of the FNCE 2011 repercussions. There is so much to share that I will post it in three parts.
- I was surprised, at the Opening Session on Saturday 24th, when ADA President Sylvia Escott-Stump announced that the ADA changes its name to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, effective January 2012. The reason was to better communicate our identity. The term academy better represents the aim to advance science and "by adding nutrition to our name, we communicate our capacity for translating nutrition science into healthier lifestyles for everyone”, Escott-Stump said. Do you think the name change was a good idea?
- The Wimpfheimer-Guggenheim International Lecture: “Opportunities for International Nutrition Work” held on Sunday 25th showed three different professionals paths in international nutrition. All of the speakers shared tips and resources especially for those students looking for the dream of working/volunteering overseas. One of the most important ones I took from them is to be international before going abroad. For instance: learn a second language; participate in local internationally focused activities and if you travel, go beyond the touristic spots. See my previous post about Dietitians learning a foreign language. Also a person from the audience added that AODA is a great resource.
- The member showcase on Monday 26th was a very interest live debate between two leading experts. The session was titled “Sweet Scrutiny: Debating the Research on Nutritive and Non-Nutritive Sweeteners”, but the really issue discussed was whether sugary drinks can be blamed for the growing obesity. Dr. Theresa Nicklas pointed out that consumption of added sugar in the U.S. is decreasing but –paradoxically- obesity rate keeps growing. Also, she stated that the evidence is inconclusive when we link carbonated beverage consumption with prevalence of overweight. On the other hand, Dr. Barry Popkins, is convinced that sugary drinks promotes the obesity epidemic and believes that sodas should be taxed in the similar way as tobacco because it’s deleterious to our health. He argued that one should be carefull when analyzing studies, as many of them were funded by beverage companies with results more likely to be “industry-friendly”. He also pointed out that liquid calories are not the same as solid ones, saying that “if we take in 200 calories in liquid, we won’t eat 200 fewer calories from food” (to compensate). To this, Dr. Nicklas replied back saying that “a calorie is a calorie” and that “If we’re going to tax soft drinks, why not tax pizza or donuts? We’re fighting the wrong battle here. We need a total diet approach”, prompting a round applause from the audience. What do you think? Share your opinion, and I will share mine.
Stay tuned for more. Next post I will talk about the organic controversy, standardized approach and documentation of malnutrition, bariatric surgery and more. The third part of these highlights will be based on new products from the Expo. Don’t miss it!
Global dietitians is a fun place to share and network between for food and nutrition professionals from around the world. Made for dietitians by dietitians.