Dietetics students had the opportunity to attend the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). One of our seniors, Shelby Olson, shares her experiences below.
FNCE was everything I had imagined it to be and more. I had done a lot of research prior to the event to prepare myself for the educational sessions as well as the expo, but I had no idea it would be so overwhelmingly rewarding. Throughout the four days we spent in Boston, we were given the opportunity to learn more about nutrition research and how/why it should be implemented into the care of patients. Though we were unable to see and hear all we wanted, I was fortunate enough to attend lectures on varying topics including The Gut-Brain Highway (covering the relationship between the gut microbiota and signals sent to the brain), Bridging the Gap Between Food Insecurity and Kidney Health, Detection and Treatment of Severe Nutritional Deficits in Autism, Using Science to Further Define FODMAPS, Childhood Obesity Treatment and Reimbursement, Therapeutic Benefits of Pulses, and Cystic Fibrosis Nutrition.
Between sessions we were able to explore hundreds of food and nutrition companies to learn about their new products as well as their mission and goals for the future. It was great to see companies working towards healthier products as well as sustainability and ethical practices.
Attending FNCE solidified my passion and purpose for a future in nutrition and dietetics. The combination of emerging science and research, the comradery of current and future RDNs, and the beautiful city of Boston was inspiring. I would encourage anyone with the opportunity to attend next year’s FNCE in Chicago to go. It is an irreplaceable experience!