by Lindsey Toth
The city of Boston was flooded with registered dietitians and nutrition professionals the weekend of November 6th, as the American Dietetic Association (ADA) hosted their 93rd annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) on Boston’s historic waterfront. Attendance at the conference totaled more than 11,600 – the largest attendance in the last ten years, with over 9,000 registrants and more than 2,500 exhibitors.
The opening session on Saturday, November 6th, brought out 5,500 FNCE attendees to hear ADA President Judith C. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, FADA, LDN, give her opening remarks. She proudly proclaimed that it is an exciting time to be an ADA member, declaring, “ADA helps you to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to translating and applying emerging science and public policies. And we are at the table, expanding your leadership role in the new health-care environment. The participation of five ADA members including three registered dietitians on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is only one example.”
Personal and professional networking opportunities abounded this year, as well as many FNCE “firsts.” Student ADA members really got FNCE moving on Saturday, November 6th, with a flash mob that entertained everyone in the registration area – check it out!
The last day of the conference marked the launch of the monumental joint project between the ADA and the ADA Foundation, the “Kids Eat Right” campaign. Association President Rodriguez described “Kids Eat Right” as, “a call to action,” saying “our members must educate key audiences about the need for a quality diet and the consequences of poor nutrition.”
Finally, Anthony Bourdain , proclaimed chef, author of Kitchen Confidential, and star of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations, closed the conference with his talk, How to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Globalization. He shared his belief that food acts as a cultural equalizer, and the process of globalization has the power to improve communication among cultures, not to mention dining experiences.
Mark your calendars, because plans are already under way for 2011’s FNCE, set to take place at the San Diego Convention Center in sunny San Diego, California, September 24th through the 27th.
Lindsey Toth is currently finishing up her time in the joint Dietetic Internship/MS Nutrition and MS Nutrition Communications program. Boston’s beautiful scenery has turned Lindsey into an avid runner, and she just recently finished her first half marathon in September. When Lindsey isn’t yogging, she is content sitting down with a close group of friends, baking some delicious treats, and watching a classic Disney movie.