Monday, November 24, 2014

Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo 2014

Last month the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) was hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Atlanta Georgia.    This conference is one of the largest Nutrition conferences in the world and attracts thousands of attendees.  Fortunately I have been able to attend the conference the past few years and certainly didn't want to miss out this year, even if I was pregnant.  Given the conference was local I was able to attend the conference all three and half days at 38 weeks pregnant.  In fact I think all of the walking may have helped Mr. Max show his face a few days early!

The opportunities at FNCE are endless.  Days start early with sponsored breakfasts and go late with sponsored dinners and receptions.  The daytime is filled with informative educational sessions, visits through the massive Expo hall, and even more networking.  In today's post I will highlight some of my experiences at FNCE.

Expo Hall - Hass Avocado Board Booth

First and Foremost, I Presented at FNCE
After attending FNCE last year in Houston I decided the following year I wanted to present at the
conference. Working in a Bariatric Surgery department over the past year I opted to speak about Weight Regain after Bariatric Surgery.  Unfortunately this is an increasing problem that can occur anywhere from 1 to 10 years after bariatric surgery.  Approximately 20-30% of people who undergo bariatric surgery do not achieve successful weight loss results.  There is no easy or simply solution to prevent weight regain after bariatric surgery, but it is important perspective candidates view bariatric surgery as a tool to a permanent lifestyle change.

Emerging Research in Nutrition 
During my time at FNCE I was able to attend a few educational sessions.  Nutrition is an ever changing field with new research emerging at a rapid rate, even for us in the profession it can be tough to keep up with.  Here are some highlights of the sessions I attended.
  • Current sodium recommendations of 1500 - 2300 mg per day may be too restrictive. Recent research suggests harmful outcomes can occur when sodium is consumed in excess or when severely restricted.  Recommendations for sodium intake should be individualized based on the individuals current intake and health status.
  • A diet high in phytonutrients can detox body and provide beneficial health results. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and tea contain phytonutrients.  Detox diets may help to reduce or limit toxic substances in our bodies, however they have not been linked to weight loss.
  • The current recommendation to drink 8 cups of water per day is inadequate and does not meet the Institute of Medicine recommendations.  Most individuals need at least 11 cups, but requirements can vary based on physical activity, sex, and health status.

New Food Products to Check Out
I spent several hours in the Expo Hall at FNCE checking out the hundreds of companies set up to display both their new and old products. Here are some new products I am extremely excited to start recommending to clients.
  • Dole® Strawberry Dippers.  What is not to love about frozen strawberries dipped in dark chocolate already prepared?!  A box of these delicious treats can be purchased in your grocers frozen section next to the already available Banana Dippers. Each serving can be enjoyed for only 60 calories.
  • Lundberg® Organic Short Grain Brown Rice Bowl.  Prior to the conference my typical recommendation for brown rice was Uncle Ben's Ready Rice® because of the super simple microwave preparation and non-overpowering flavor. Now I am thrilled to have another easy recommendation for brown rice that can also be easily prepared in the microwave and is loaded with whole grains.
  • Stur® Water Enhancer.  Stur is not the first mention of a low calorie water enhancer in market, but this product offers no artificial flavors or sweeteners. All the flavors are sweetened with a stevia leaf extract and contain only natural ingredients.  

Several of the food companies offered prepared recipes using their products.  A few favorite recipes were Pumpkin Yogurt Smoothies from Chobani® Yogurt and Avocado Ice Cream from Hass Avocado Board.  I am going to save my absolute favorite recipe for a future post dedicated to only that recipe!

And last, but not least I must mention the celebrity Dietitians I was able to meet at FNCE.  Joy Bauer was in attendance promoting her company Nourish Snacks and Ellie Krieger was signing her most recent book Weeknight Wonders with the folks from Grapes from California Commission.  This was not my first sighting of Ellie Krieger.  I heard her present a lecture at FNCE back in 2012.

Some of my favorite dietitians with Joy Bauer
Pic of myself with Ellie Krieger

Another great year at FNCE!
Your family's dietitian,

1 comment:

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