I just recently attended and was a speaker at the 6th Annual Nutrition and Health Conference put on by the University of Arizona (www.nutritionandhealthconf.org). The conference was held in Chicago and May 11th was declared by Mayor Daley to be Nutrition and Health Day. The conference featured nationally known speakers in the fields of public health, nutrition, research and culinary science, including Chicago chef, Rick Bayless. What I always enjoy about this conference is that the congruency between what the message is (all about good nutrition) and how the meals support this. Conference attendees are provided breakfast and lunch every day and the meals are wholesome, innovative and fresh. The breaks include my all time favorite – the chocolate tasting stations and a chocolate fountain flowing with healthy dark chocolate as well as crackers and fine cheeses and other tasty treats.
My talk was on obesity and how integrative medicine can approach this difficulty problem that conventional methods have heretofore failed. In the next several blogs, I will offer some thoughts on this subject.
#1 Obesity is 40-70% inherited (genetic). Many of those struggling with obesity have spent a lifetime dieting and hating their bodies. Many have progress to full-blown eating disorders as well. When I talk with my patients who are overweight and obese I am always struck by how hungry they are. Many believe that they deserve to be hungry as penance for their weight. They are surprised when I tell them that they have to eat more to lose weight and that the goal should be that they won’t ever be hungry again.