The Difference a Year Can Make

VanVic 069

This past weekend I attended the Dietitians of Canada Conference in Victoria.

Last year this past weekend, I attended the Dietitians of Canada Conference in Toronto.

This year I am a full-time working Dietitian Registered with the BC College. After 10 months of not working after work (aka no more homework) and practicing the many dietetic, and non-dietetic, skills you need to counsel people around food, my mind is open to thinking, questioning and learning once again.

Last year I was in the final few weeks of my internship, which also happened to be the roughest patch of my internship as well. I was questioning if everything would work out. My stress levels were high and I found it difficult to retain anything. Not a lot stood out for me from last year except for Roberta Bondar (a female Canadian Astronaut) being our key note and a longer session on motivational interviewing skills.

This year what stood out (in a good way) for me:

– Panel at the beginning on leadership.
– Weighty communication: session on both HAES and Obesity Management. While I am completely HAES in my belief, Dr. Sharma’s approach to Obesity Management is probably the only medicalized version of obesity I sort of agree with.
– Men in Dietetics: an interesting topic! In the US 4% of RDs are men. In Canada we don’t even know how many men are a part of our professional association. Questions raised: How can we recruit more men into our profession? Even how do we bring more diversity to our profession?
– Artful Approaches to dietetics Pedagogy: super interesting look at ways of incorporating art based learning into a typical science program. I’ve been recently looking a lot at how we’re educated (I think it could be generalized for any applied science program) and loved the stuff being done at Acadia; it’s so different!

Things that stood out in a bad way:

– The sponsorship of our meals. Really Dietitians of Canada? Really? It happened last year in Toronto too, but I assumed this year being in BC, which holds with pride the idea that we are local, organic and all that jazz we would have been fed delicious, local, real, whole foods from Victoria. I guess I was wrong.
– The Kellogg’s symposium wherein questions were filtered to skew to the positive for industry. If industry wants to be at a DC conference FINE, but you have to open up the full discussion and not shut down what you don’t want to hear. I was very unimpressed with this.
– Again the sponsorship. This time about having certain brands all over the place. There is a fun run that’s meant to raise money for research, and you received a Tshirt… with Pepsico on the back. So a bunch of dietitians ran around Victoria advertising Pepsi on their shirts. Again DC, not cool. Not cool.

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2 thoughts on “The Difference a Year Can Make

  1. I’m with you on the sponsorship thing, but not surprised. Because DC is a national organization, I wouldn’t expect them to change who sponsors events just because of the location of the conference. They are going to go with their nationwide longstanding sponsors. And while I’m not a fan of many of them, I also realize that some of those brands we love to hate also own some brands we actually love – Pepsico also owns Quaker, and we always want people to eat oats. i wish we had more diversity in the brands that are represented there though – why not a hemp seed company? Why not some fruit marketing boards like BC tree fruits? I could come up with countless other options…too bad they don’t have the $$ like the bigger companies do.

    • A great point; I’d love to see more real food brands like that too. It does come down to the money though doesn’t it? Which is really too bad. But it’s like advertising right; you see thousands of ads for sugary cereals/pop/fast food etc. but you never (rarely) see an add for fruits or vegetables. I always wondering if the govn’t put money into creating ads that were just like the ones for McDonalds, but for fresh fruit n veg would we see a change in diet? If we “normalized” health food the way junk food has been “normalized”?

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