Beyond Reach

Reaching Beyond Bias and Presumptions

The opening day of the 2015 Weight Management DPG Symposium found dietitians reaching beyond bias and presumptions about obesity. This meeting is a gem that brings together the top dietitians in the country who focus upon weight management, thanks to the hard work of the Weight Management Dietary Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Kellene Isom and Laura Andromalos of Brigham and Women’s Hospital started the theme for the day with an exercise in busting some of the myths associated with nutrition care for bariatric surgery patients. They covered a remarkable range of common beliefs and identified limitations in the evidence behind them. The common thread was putting patients at the center of practices. Andromalos gave an especially thoughtful exploration of getting beyond a fixation on weight to the exclusion of other important clinical considerations.

Then Peter Katzmarzyk of Pennington Biomedical Research Center provided some surprises in his review of data from a global review of physical activities in kids and teens. His most surprising observation? Investing in built environment to promote physical activity is linked to lower levels of physical activity in kids. It’s the less developed countries with free-range kids out climbing rocks and trees and wandering on dirt paths that are more active. Countries that invest in more structured places to play have less play actually happening. Of course, a link proves nothing about causality. But it sure makes you wonder.

Finally ConscienHealth Founder Ted Kyle presented on replacing bias with evidence in obesity policy and practice. He told a room filled with hundreds of  experts in diet and nutrition, “Pervasive bias affects every aspect of how we address obesity — from research to prevention to the delivery of healthcare.”

But he also presented a vision for the future of obesity treatment and prevention defined by respect for the people affected. With a deeper understanding of the disease, Kyle expects that we will have more effective prevention programs, better treatment options, and healthier families, communities, and schools.

Click here for a copy of Kyle’s presentation. Click here for more information on the 2015 Weight Management DPG Symposium.

Beyond Reach, photograph © Pekka Nikrus / flickr

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2 Responses to “Reaching Beyond Bias and Presumptions”

  1. April 18, 2015 at 6:37 am, Joe Gitchell said:

    Way cool, Ted. Two questions:

    Who is this “Ted Kyle” who you refer to in the third person? That is some kind of coincidence–and he sure seems smart!
    And how did this “Ted Kyle” cover 70+ detailed slides without the janitor turning out the lights on the empty hall? He must talk quickly!

    Enjoy the rest of the meeting!! And I hope you get to spend some time with “Ted Kyle”! 😉