International Congress of Dietetics (ICD) held in Sydney from 5th to 8th
September 2012 had nearly 2300 participants from 43 countries. This is the first time that twenty four participants from Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) were present at an ICDA conference.
It was an honor to see Dharini Krishnan (former National President of IDA) as a guest speaker for a lead session. It was indeed a matter of pride to see a number of Indian research papers selected for Oral and Poster presentations. The oral presenters were Jagmeet Madan (IDA Board Member), Rita Bhargava (IDA Board Member) and Neha Gehi. The poster presenters included Latha Sashi, Anjali Nair and Uma Chitra. We also had the august presence of Rekha Sharma (National President of IDA), Sheela Krishnaswamy (Director ICDA Board & Country Representative), Molly Joshi (Former ICDA Country Representative), Manju Mathur (IDA Board Member), Mallika Janakiraman, and others.
The icing on the cake was Latha Sashi’s poster getting an International Award – 'Highly Commended Poster'. Latha Sashi was also a part of the ICDA working group in developing the definition for Evidence Based Dietetic Practice that culminated in a workshop at ICD 2012.
It was indeed a learning experience to meet many dietitians from varied cultures and background and also get a wide professional exposure in the exhibition stalls. Meeting Rita Batheja, Founder, Indian American Dietetic Association (New York) and Ms Alice Wimpfheimer brought back fond memories of IDA’s presence in ICDA in 1997 when Molly Joshi was the National President of IDA. The added nostalgia was a cozy dinner session of Indian delegates with Rita Bhateja, Alice Wimpfheimer and some members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics from USA, at “Zaafran”, a fine Indian restaurant at Darling Harbor, Sydney, and a dinner cruise for some of the invited delegates.
It was an extremely enriching experience to be a part of a conglomeration of nutrition and dietetics fraternity from all over the world, and to exchange knowledge and best practices in the field of Dietetics. Kudos to the organizers for having put forth a packed scientific program during the conference that took care of interests of nutritionists, dietitians, academicians and researchers alike. The warmth of the Aussies, the never-sleeping Darling Harbor and the legendary Sydney harbor bridge and the Opera House made the ICD at Sydney very special. The Indian fraternity is already looking forward to being together at Spain and South Africa in spite of losing the bid to host the ICD in 2020.