Nine senior Dietetic students recently attended the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Nashville, TN October 3-6, 2015. Students, Haley Cunningham, Nicole Frey, Regin Gallagher, Anna Gessell, Sarah Knodel, Kelly Morrow, Hailey Schminke, Shelby Stein, and Mackenzie Wald enjoyed learning from industry professionals at the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts. More than 10,0000 registered dietitians, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health-care providers, and industry leaders attend this annual meeting which takes place in a different city every year.
For the nine UND Dietician students that attended FNCE, the conference provided them with an opportunity to connect the information that they have learned in the classroom to policy, research, and best practice within the field. Over 300 educational sessions were held during the conference and attendees had the opportunity to learn about the various practice areas of dietetics.
Senior Dietetics major, Regin Gallagher, who has a special interest in the medical nutrition therapy area of dietetics, chose to attend educational sessions that focused on emerging research that has a direct impact on dietetic practice. Some of the sessions that she attended included: Feeding the Critically Ill Obese Patient-Current Approaches and Potential Implications; Hypertension and Vascular Function: A Role for Functional Foods and Bioactive Components in Medical Nutrition Therapy; and How RDNs Can Partner to Improve Patient Outcomes and Decrease Healthcare Costs.
“Most of the sessions attended focused on emerging research that has a direct impact on dietetic practice,” said Gallagher.
The students enjoyed learning from industry leaders but they also had an opportunity to explore the city of Nashville attending the Country Music Hall of Fame and enjoying live music on Broadway Street. The FNCE attendees also enjoyed eating at different local restaurants each night including authentic southern and Italian cuisine. They even met an up-and-coming country musician, Michael Ray!
Although they enjoyed the sights and sounds of Nashville, the highlight of the trip for the students was the information they learned during the conference and the opportunity to network with Dietetics professionals.
“Personally, my favorite part of the FNCE were the sessions. I really enjoyed the session regarding functional foods mitigating hypertension and improving vascular function. The speakers were really passionate about the research they've been conducting which shined through during their presentation. Passion like that is contagious,” Gallagher said.