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MDA part 2….

March 21, 2009

It feels like my first “weekend” in so long!! When you lay in bed all day, every day for two weeks, calendar days tend to lose their meaning(with the exception of television programming).  This weekend I am excited for March Madness, being able to do laundry(haha I know I know but clean clothes make me happy and knee surgery makes it hard to do laundry), and fooooooooood!  But back to Thursday when I was at MDA…..

The first talk I went to was Weight Loss Surgery for Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes by
Renee Kalmbach, PhD, RD.  Many studies show that having the surgery can get rid of the diabetes, even before the weight loss actually happens which is pretty cool.  But here is what I thought was the most interesting:

57 million people in America are pre-diabetic! Pre-diabetes is a term used to define people at risk for diabetes and have started to show signs of insulin resistance or have a strong family history.  As someone interested in preventative nutrition I WISH that insurance companies would cover the cost to educate these people prior to developing the disease!! It really doesn’t make sense to me why insurance will pay for all the medicine, doctors visits, insulin, glucometers, dietitian visits etc. etc. AFTER but will pay NOTHING to make sure people do not actually get Diabetes!(just a personal annoyance of mine!)

– Adipocytes(fancy name for fat cells) are very active in your body!  Not active as in they need fuel like muscle, but they send hormones to receptors in the brain which affect your hunger/satiety and energy expenditure.  They are doing more research to find out what exactly happens but I think that it is important to understand that larger fat cells can make it much harder for people to lose weight.  **I say larger instead of more, because with the exception of infancy, puberty and a couple months in the womb your fat cells do not multiply, they just get bigger. And you can never lose fat cells you have, you can only shrink them**

The next speaker we attended was the Key Note speaker, Pamela Jett called Success is an Attitude.  She was a great public speaker(and she totally loved my crutch critters).  Mostly what I learned from her was that dynamic speakers can really hold your attention!!

Most important tips from this session:

-75% of the things people say to themselves are negative.

Every time you learn something new, you get a new neuropathway( or as she would say “brain wrinkle)

– It is rude when someone pays you a compliment to not say “thank you”. I thought this was super important because so many times people turn down compliments instead of just appreciating them!

– Oh and of course we all need to wake up in the morning and “Choose Happiness!!” As in if your thoughts will become reality and if you believe you will have a good day you will! (to which my cynical self thought, well gee Pamela I didn’t wake up one morning and think “today would be a great day to tear my ACL and meniscus” !!  But I guess the point is make the most of it and be optimistic and SMILE!)

Weight Loss On The Web: Is It A Virtual Reality? was next.  This talk was given by the fabulous Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino Phd, RD who happens to be the chair of the nutrition department at my alma mater(wow, as a recent grad that sounds so weird to say!)  Honestly, she inspired me all through college and I think she is awesome and smart and spoke about a lot of interesting things on Thursday like:

– If the current trends continue, ALL OF AMERICA will be overweight or obese by 2048!

-Americans on average gain 1-2 pounds per year( sounds small but that mean between college and the age of 40 on average people have gained 20-40#)

A clinically significant weight loss is 5% of your total weight.  It can help decrease your risk of chronic diseases( but no one who is overweight or obese usually sets their sites on only 5%)

– Internet weight loss programs can be just as successful as in-person interventions but people like: interaction(as in graphs and charts and tools that can track changes), group cohesion( a specific group that meets and bonds and forms solid supports), and these sites can become very time-intensive and costly to maintain.

She is doing very interesting research on weight loss and using tools like the internet to help people be succesful.  Her program delivered an average of about 9 kg weight loss(around 20 pounds) for six months.  But weight maintenance is also super important as on average people gain back 4 kg(9 or so pounds) at 2-4 years out.

Then we had that so-so lunch that I wrote about.

I went to see Working with the Pregnant Vegetarian by Reed Mengels, PhD, RD.  She was a very sweet lady who works in western Massachusetts.

– In a study of self proclaimed vegetarians: 5% ate chicken or poultry at least 1x/week, and 12% ate fish.

-The top reasons people choose the veg life are health and ethics, but also taste and cheapness.

– Pregnant vegetarians and especially VEGANS should be on a B12 supplement.

– Vitamin D should also be supplemented(either with foods that are fortified or a vitamin)

– High non-dairy calcium foods are : bok choy, chinese cabbage, spinach, broccoli, fortified tofu/soy milk.

– Recommended no more than 2-3 servings of soy per day because no research done on long term effects.

WOW this is a lot of information, so rather than keep going, I’ll write about all the freebies I got tomorrow!!!  Have a great Saturday!

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