I could not believe it that I was here at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 100th anniversary of Food Nutrition Expo Conference in Chicago, Illinois. There were almost 13,000 registered dietitians and nutrition professionals there for this four-day celebration! There was also more than 130 educational sessions, panel discussions, research forums and culinary demonstrations. There was so much to see and do in only four days, but I was ready to get started now.
The first day of the conference was Opening Session and the Keynote speaker the famous neurosurgeon and Emmy Award-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, Sanjay Gupta who discussed how media influence health and nutrition. Dr. Gupta also explained about dietitians and nutritional professional frustrations with negative media messages, and fake nutrition news on social media. Dr. Sanjay Gupta emphasis that we must show a positive spin of this by educating the public about the truths of food and nutrition.
There was an exciting and controversial session that I knew I had to go and that was GOING GREEN: USE OF MEDICAL CANNABIS IN MEDICAL NUTRITION THERAPY. Some of the highlighted parts of this session that the speakers spoke about were when using cannabis; there are potential benefits which are for short-term use and adverse effects which are in long-term use that does occur. The benefits are increased appetite, decreased nausea, weight gain, may reduce depression/anxiety, reduced perception of pain and potential as an anti-inflammatory. The adverse effects are possible to result in depression, memory impairment, which can last > 7 days, chronic use may result in excessive vomiting, marijuana will show up on drug screens, sometimes up to 2 months later and may lead to dependence. Medical nutrition therapy may be used to help promote oral intake, reduce wasting, malnutrition, possibly ameliorate inflammation.
Next was the food and nutrition expo where over 390 vendors provide food tastings and education about new products. Some of the new products were sparkling probiotic drink, dark chocolate covered chickpeas, cauliflower pizza crust and overnight prepared oatmeal. The delicious tasting food that I had a chance to try was chickpea pasta, RxBar, KIND Snacks and Eat Smart salads.
Some of the fun booths at the Expo were the Yoga Fitness Breaks where you can unwind, stretch out and relax for 20 minutes. This low-intensity class was aim to relieve the tension your wrists, shoulders and lower back while strengthening your core. Another place was the OCEAN SPRAY CRANBERRIES booth where fellow dietitians and nutrition professionals were able to have a great time in playing in water surrounded by cranberries. It was funny watching people taking selfies in waterproof overalls and trying not to drop their cell phones into the cranberries water.
I really enjoyed my time at FNCE and at the Dietitian Integrative Functional Medicine (DIFM) Symposium - Feed Your Genes. Feed Your Brain and workshops. Make sure you come to the 2018 FNCE in Washington and check out what the new innovations in food and nutrition!