Kathy Barrows, PHD, RD (Director of the Grove City office) and Robbin McSurley, RD (dietitian at the East office), attended the Obesity Summit at the Cleveland Clinic in November. The summit reviewed recent research on obesity causes and treating diseases associated with obesity such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Some of the highlights of the conference are as follows:
Dr. Kelly Brownell , an expert in obesity research, shared that education about healthy eating and obesity can’t compete with the advertising dollars used to market high-sugared cereals and beverages. He spoke of a need to change our environment so as not to have those types of items and high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie foods around. He gave the example of the Cleveland Clinic where they do not sell any sugared beverages at any of their clinic sites. (Time to rethink what sugar-packed items are in your shelves and cupboards!)
Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center, described modern life as looking like a “Charlie Brown Tree.” Many of us are overworked, tired, stressed, depressed, and lacking nurturing relationships and turning to food, drugs, and alcohol to fill the neglected places. It is time to practice self-care and attend to some of our needs like better rest, decreasing stress, and choosing healthy foods. Obesity is strongly linked to 60 medical disorders including 12 different cancers.
Dr. Michael Roizen, friend and co-author with Dr. Oz, stressed that people make changes with emotions not data. Readiness to make lifestyle changes is key. He emphasized that our choices matter greatly for overall health even more than our genes. Healthy choices (high fiber, low-fat food choices, daily activity, minimal alcohol, not smoking, adequate rest/daily meditation, can alter gene expression and longevity.
These are just some of the highlights of the conference. To sum it up, monitor what foods you have around you at home and work, and make your environment conducive to maintaining a healthy weight. Also, practice choosing healthy foods with appropriate portion sizes so that after awhile, choosing the healthy foods becomes a habit and is easier to continue!