Sunday, May 1, 2016

The DCMAND Conference

Every state has an affiliate chapter under the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and on Friday our internship class attended the annual conference put on by the DC Metro Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or DCMAND. As a resident of Washington DC, I was excited to see what my local chapter was all about! 

The conference was titled “Planning with a Purpose: Modern Strategies for a Better Food Future” and it focused on the entire food supply chain, food policy, customer patterns, federal oversight and technological advancements of both food production, access and consumption. 
Some of the highlights for me included:
  • Learning how local urban populations are growing and increasing the demand for locally sourced and produced food products – only with the help of technology used in food production can these demands be met.
  • Hearing about how a specific product (Chobani yogurt, in this case) can grow to be a national leader and still maintain locally oriented production with a strong commitment to sustainability, quality and nutrition.
  • Understanding how the FDA reviews prospective changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel. 
  • Seeing how science-focused communications are most effective when delivered with a bit of humor. 
  • Reviewing some of the methodology used to conduct NHANES, and learning how anyone can assess the treasure-troves of nutrition and eating behavior data the USDA collects on an ongoing basis, including the Healthy Eating Index. 
  • Understanding how public schools are measured according to the USDA’s healthy lunchroom standards – and seeing how few schools actually meet the relatively attainable standards.
  • Getting introduced to new apps that can help dietitians council their patients and clients towards personalized food and fitness goals. 
  • Learning more about how grocery store dietitians can coach shoppers towards making healthful purchases, and manage their specific nutritional needs. 
  • Being introduced to local DC companies that focus on local, healthful, affordable meals for lunch and dinner (check out Scratch DC and Tiny Grocery!). 
We were encouraged to tweet about the conference with using #DCMAND2016, take a look at some of the topics mentioned during the conference, here.

Meredith next to her award winning poster project!
In addition to attending the conference, our class and dietetic interns from National Institutes of Health and Howard University were invited to present posters and original abstracts. Our classmate Meredith Dillon won an award for outstanding original project! Congrats, Mere!

Attending the DCMAND meeting is a great way for our intern class to see how important it is to be connected to our local Academy affiliates. These groups provide great networking and discussions about potential job opportunities. We also were introduced to future opportunities for leadership roles. Involvement in local Academy affiliates can only help each of us grow in our careers as we become dietitians. 

1 comment:

  1. This UMD program is very grateful for the opportunity to send its interns to DCMAND meeting