My partner and I have a well rehearsed script whenever he is suffering from man flu, he says, “Am I going to die?” and I say “Yes, just not today.” First world peoples tend to specialise in the denial of several absolutes: like time & death. As Professor David Cameron-Smith, from the University of Auckland says, ‘old’ is something we always define as ‘other’. We are not old but we know people who are! I personally used to define ‘old’ as over 50 until that became rather close and uncomfortable at which point I noticed a completely unconscious increase in the lower limit! Now old is over 75 yrs…and stay tuned for more updates 😉
Similarly none of us are ageing, right?
But take a step away from our own personal denial and we all know that as a population we are ageing rapidly and with this comes a number of ‘new’ health epidemics, like the newly coined ‘osteosarcopenic obesity’. Turns out, these 3 are linked (anyone surprised?) but what you might find surprising and really important is the newly elucidated mechanisms behind this negative health synergism and how diet and sleep profoundly interact with these, which is what David will be talking about at the rapidly approaching Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ASLM) in Sydney on the 15-17th Sept. Yes! I am going (and presenting) and Yes! I am already scanning the form guide to see who I need to be front row and center for – given the huge diversity of parallel presentations on offer and the high caliber of the ones I saw last year.
So…back to Professor Cameron-Smith, who has a PhD in Biochemistry which hasn’t stopped him, apparently, from thinking about diet and population & individual health from a holistic perspective – so while his topic for the conference is about the ‘optimisation of muscle mass’ and how to prevent our lemming-like movement towards osteosarcopenic obesity – he wants us to also think again about our rudimentary equating of dietary protein to healthy muscles and reflect on industry’s response to these kind of dietary half-truths and finally, ultimately the environmental cost.
Not quite the standard script for a Prof of nutritional biochemistry? Well no – but that’s what really set the previous ASLM conference apart for me – this fabulous sense of holism and the recognised need for integration (of research, of practice) from some surprising health corners. I’ll get back to you soon when I’ve reviewed a bit more of the form guide and I hope you’ve got your ticket booked! 😉
Rachel is excited about getting out and about to meet, mingle and present on some exciting topics thanks to her busy speaking calendar for Sept & October, including presenting at ASLM 15-17th Sept. If you would like to find out what Rachel is up to and when she is presenting near you – check out her ‘Live Appearances’ on the website.