July 2015 Issue

Editor's Spot: Symposium Reflections
By Judy Riddle
Today's Dietitian
Vol. 17 No. 7 P. 4

It's been approximately six weeks since the staff of Today's Dietitian returned from our second annual Spring Symposium at the Tropicana Las Vegas. This year's symposium seemed to be an even greater success than last year's event. In fact, one attendee said "The symposium will only grow bigger and bigger." We had several more prestigious speakers and a larger turnout of dietitians and various other nutrition professionals. The conference center was bustling with excited and expectant RDs as they attended continuing education sessions, networking events, and mealtimes with colleagues. A couple of attendees said they loved how some of the presenters "delved deep into the science" to explain the latest cutting-edge research.

One session I particularly enjoyed was "The Biggest Loser Unplugged: The RD Behind the Camera," presented by Cheryl Forberg, RD, the dietitian for NBC's The Biggest Loser—the popular weight-loss competition TV show featuring overweight contestants who work hard with fitness trainers to lose weight and vie for the title of Biggest Loser and a large cash prize. Forberg was witty and entertaining as she discussed the nutrition guidelines and recommendations of The Biggest Loser weight-loss plan and its effectiveness. She described the necessary components of an accelerated weight-loss program that dietitians can use with clients and patients, and she discussed the important roles the RD and physician have in working together to treat overweight and obesity. Forberg also said that she felt her role as RD should be brought to the forefront and not kept behind the scenes on the TV show. And she speculated that her role may be hidden from viewers because RDs aren't perceived as exciting or engaging, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Some dietitians in the audience agreed wholeheartedly that the show should spotlight Forberg and what she does for the contestants with regard to menu development and meal planning, and many promised to voice their opinions about this through social media.

You can read much more about the symposium on page 32 and view the gallery of photos I took that capture the excitement and ambience of the event. Afterward, read about favorite North American summer fruits, processed foods, water use and shortages, and how schools across the country are conquering the challenges of meeting the new nutrition targets.

Let us know what you think about these and other articles on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and please enjoy the rest of the issue!

Judith Riddle