Online Program

Role of reciprocal relationship between food and humans in evolution of the obesity epidemic

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pratibha Shah, Masters degree in Ayurveda, MPH, Integrative Medicine and Primary Care, Zanjabee, Woburn, MA
Basmaa Ali, Doctor of Medicine (MD), Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Woburn, MA
Human evolution spans 2 million years. Human food has been evolving for 4.5 billion years. When humans affect the production of food by genetic modification, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, the human biome is interactively affected. In our quest to eradicate hunger, we have resorted to extreme means to increase food production and make un-seasonal foods available all year round, at affordable prices. Increased food availability and concurrent social trends have paved the way for expansion in the prepared food industry. The resulting food norms have radically changed US eating patterns in the last four decades.

In the early 70s, healthcare professionals identified fat in foods as a major cause of coronary artery disease. The food industry in response removed fats and added refined sugars, corn and corn derivatives to prepared food, to restore taste and increase sales. This led to increase in number of calories consumed per serving as well as high insulin states which interfere with satiety and fat storage feedback mechanism in the body. These factors have contributed to the growing epidemic of obesity in the US. This presentation will bring to attention, the complex new relationship between healthcare providers, public health messaging by healthcare providers based on any new and emerging data, the food industry, the consumers and what some call iatrogenic obesity.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the intricate, intimate and reciprocal relationship between the evolution of foods and humans. Explain and discuss how public health messages based on new and emerging data, by healthcare professionals, can affect the food industry as well as change overall eating patterns and food choices. Link this complex equation with the growing obesity epidemic. Outline steps for what we can do different for better outcomes.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Pratibha Shah holds a Post Graduate degree in Ayurveda from the prestigious National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, India. She has been practicing Ayurveda for more than 20 yrs and conducts and speaks at Ayurvedic events all year round. With the aim of providing a wider platform for benefits from Ayurvedic principles of healing, she has recently completed Masters in Public Health, International Health, from Boston University School of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.