Updates and opinions on topical issues from our team and from recognised experts
Dietitians Association of Australia 33rd Conference in Melbourne, the conference of the “demystification”
Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first DAA Conference. As I am from Belgium, I haven’t had the opportunity to attend in the past. It was a wonderful celebration of DAA supporting dietitians for 40 years. What a great bunch of powerful dietitians I met. The theme for this year was ‘On Track for the Future’ and I felt it was particularly fitting on a personal level. How can I, as a dietitian working in the industry, make an impact on the future and positively influence the food supply to bring better nutrition into people’s lives?
While I dived in and attended a range of sessions and workshops in varied areas of dietetics, there were a few topics and research findings that stood out for me in my work and I’d like to share these with you all…
I attended the workshop “Food at the core – building bridges between foods pleasures and its nutritive science”. It was presented by Ms Alla Wolf-Tasker, chef and local food advocate, and the owner of the Lake House restaurant in Daylesford. Alla reiterated the importance of appreciating food in our profession, the way I learned dietetics in Europe … cooking and enjoying the pleasure of good food beyond its nutrition profile. We are food experts, passionate dietitians and have the knowledge and expertise to shout out loudly that we are actually the nutrition experts. However, we must advocate our profession to the Government, media and the general population so they recognise this expertise and the singularity of our profession.
I listened, with no surprises, to the findings from the new analysis of the latest Australian Health Survey by Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore (director of NRA). While I was eating a delicious parfait at the ABCMF breakfast, looking at beautiful jars filled with grains and cereals, I heard new evidence showing that, compared to other types of breakfast or having no breakfast at all, breakfast cereal eaters are slimmer, have better nutrient intakes and are more likely to meet their nutrient requirements. In fact, they have waistlines that are 2cm smaller than those who skip breakfast. Loved that one. You can see I love my grains!
Another great session I attended was the presentation of a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, conducted by the GI Foundation, comparing low and high GI foods and the drive to eat. The study provided high-level evidence that low GI foods or meals are more satiating than high GI foods perhaps through a complex mechanism of slow release of glucose into the blood stream through the entire intestine, a possible synergetic effect with the microbiota and the release of satiety- related neuronal and hormonal messages. Nice!
We know that people are cutting carbs, wheat, grains, gluten, refined sugars and anything else their celebrity guru tells them to eliminate. The message I got from the science presented at the DAA Conference was that they should go back to carbs, the good ones, the carbs from whole grains, the ones providing fibre and essential nutrients, the ones that are low GI.
I came back with the conviction that I have a key role to play alongside my team at Kellogg by helping the company to develop tasty, enjoyable breakfast cereals, with positive nutrients and real ingredients. But above that, I would love to spread the message that quitting carbs, wheat, sugar or gluten without any medical reason is not the answer to good health.
Here’s to the next DAA Conference.
Nutrition Manager, Kellogg Australia and New Zealand.