On June 3, the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) was proud to sponsor a satellite symposium at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Boston, MA titled, Nutrition, Exercise & Cardiometabolic Health: New Concepts & Controversies. Following introductory remarks by ENC’s Executive Director, Dr. Mitch Kanter, two of the nation’s top nutrition and fitness experts shared their perspectives on diet and physical activity behaviors that reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and related metabolic disorders:
Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, Dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, and the Jean Mayer Chair and Professor of Nutrition reviewed the evidence on diet and risk of cardiometabolic disease. Dr. Mozaffarian acknowledged the amount of confusion in the nutrition literature, partially because nutrition science is a relatively new field of study. Further, inaccurate interpretations of research studies or fallacies derived from the media, popular diet books, bloggers, etc., muddy the waters leading to public confusion. He then provided an overview of the science on nutrition and cardiometabolic health, identifying studies that support a whole foods/dietary pattern approach to risk factor management versus focusing on specific recommendations for individual macronutrients. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, as well as high quality protein sources are examples of foods that should be included in a healthy eating pattern. However, he stated that there are numerous barriers to making healthy food choices such as the community environment, cultural influences, and social support.
Robert Sallis, MD, FACSM, Past-President of the American College of Sports Medicine, Professor of Family Medicine at University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, and practicing family physician at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Fontana, CA, provided compelling evidence for the concept of exercise as medicine. Dr. Sallis reviewed numerous studies showing that not only does physical activity reduce risk for the development of cardiometabolic diseases, but that it can also improve outcomes and reduce mortality in those with existing disease. In fact, he showed data from a study by Hambrecht et al. (Circulation 2004) that demonstrated that 20 minutes of exercise training per day was more effective than angioplasty in extending survival rates in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Dr. Sallis also discussed how he incorporates exercise as a “vital sign” in his practice, tracking each patient’s exercise habits at each visit as part of the electronic medical records. And in those not currently exercising, he writes a prescription for the patient, much like he would for a drug.
One of the aims of the Egg Nutrition Center is to support educational opportunities such as this symposium for health professionals. We hope to continue to work with preeminent researchers such as Drs. Mozaffarian and Sallis to provide timely and accurate information on diet and lifestyle behaviors that promote optimal health.