The trusted source for
healthcare information and
By Leslie Coplin, Executive Editor, Integrative Medicine Alert
DENVER: On the second day of the Nutrition & Health Conference, the key themes were on identifying strategies to reduce obesity, through diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Today’s environment in the United States makes it easy for people to remain sedentary, and unhealthy food options are available at high availability and low cost, according to James Hill, PhD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
The decrease in physical activity over the past 50 years is a major driver of obesity – sitting is the new smoking. Using cognitive energy to motivate patients, healthcare professionals can create an identity shift that ultimately leads to transformational weight loss through diet, exercise, positive thinking, accountability, gratitude, and adequate rest.
During a break between a panel of discussions how consumer demand is driving a greater alignment between public health and the food industry, the 600 conference attendees took a break to engage their facial muscles by smiling at their neighbors and to practice stretching and movement through a simply choreographed drum routine. Later in the day, attendees participated in a yoga break, led by Patricia Lebensohn, MD, director of integrative medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.
Andrew Weil, MD, program director at the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine, and Christopher Gardner, PhD, professor of Medicine at Stanford University, compared and contrasted the Mediterranean diet and the standard American diet. Dr. Weil said Americans eat a lot of “fake” food, which is not satisfying and causes them to focus on what they want to eat next. They both agreed that Americans need to eat “real” food.
The recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were another topic for discussion. Both Dr. Weil and Dr. Gardner agreed that the guidelines needed to include lifestyle recommendations, such as exercise, eating high-quality foods in communal settings, and getting enough rest.
In the February 2016 issue of Integrative Medicine Alert, editor David Kiefer, MD said of the guidelines: “The science of nutrition is complicated, and should not be evaluated independent of lifestyle (of note, these guidelines do mention physical activity and the socio-ecological model) nor the myriad individual risk factors.”
If you're attending the conference, make sure you stop by AHC Media's booth for more information on opportunities to advance your continuing professional development.