Another day filled with interesting reports and LOTS of data.
- I attended a session on Pediatrics (mainly due to personal reasons, I am the father of three very delightful kids). Parental example and the inherent responsilibity associated with setting a good example for your children was underscored by great talks and posters. Of the two parents, mothers played a huge role in healthy eating choices, activity levels, etc... more so than fathers. Another interesting study focused on introducing vegetables (low energy, high nutrient foods) at the beginning of a meal to see if vegetable consumption was increased and also how it affected the consumption of other energy sources. The study concluded that giving children vegetables as a "premeal" increased their veggie consumption and decreased the amount of mac&cheese they ate later in the meal. If your kids are clamoring for food, give them some carrots.
- Turn off the TV. A couple of different research groups showed results correlating turning off the TV or removing a TV with increased phyical exercise. Again, the importance of phyiscal activity cannot be overstated. One researcher joked that they hadn't see a study where exercise has been the cause of cancer. Physical activity improves way too many health parameters to be ignored.
- In a session for clinicians on obesity treatments, the underlying theme was to assess each person individually (there is no one set way to address weight loss and each person is different). There may be underlying reasons for a person's lack of compliance (i.e. ADHD resulting in a lack of focus and inability to stay on task; joint problems from broken bones resulting in decreased activity) and addressing those issues may lead to improved results. Patients need to set goals that are measurable, attainable and within a specified time frame. Best success comes as patients reward themselves for "good" behavior or achieving small steps to a larger goal. Tracking progress pays large dividends in terms of increasing compliance but also it gives the patient a perspective on how much they have achieved. This is crucial during episodes of weight management fatigue and reflection can be a positive reinforcement for continuing to establish long-term lifestyle changes.
Lots of fun. Will post more tomorrow.