Congress for Dietitians Held in Vienna, Austria in 2013
  • Country – Austria

    The 30th Nutrition Congress for Dietitians organized by the Association of Dietitians of Austria on the 7th and 8th of March in Vienna was a great success with 500 participants in attendance.  The theme “Obesity and Nutrition” was significant for today’s health concerns of a great majority of the population.
    Professor Andrea Hofbauer, President of the Association of Dietitians of Austria and Congress President, stated in her opening address, that the recommendation to “eat less and increase exercise” is outdated and the problem is much more complex.

    In his opening statement Alois Stoeger, Austria’s Minister of Health, emphasized the great political size of this challenge. It is imperative to achieve restoration of the balance between energy intake and output. The implementation will take time.

    Photo: Alois Stoeger, Diplomé, Minister of Health, Austria and Professor Andrea Hofbauer, MSc, MBA

    Besides the fact that obesity is a considerable socio-economic problem, the connection between the physiological and biochemical synthesis needs to be understood in great detail. This can be seen as an invitation to “cross-thinking”; an invitation to approach new insights in practice.
    Prof. Dr. Achim Peters of University of Luebeck (Germany) argued in his “Selfish Brain Theory” that the brain first takes care of its own energy supply. In stress situations the brain needs more energy. In case of a deranged energy distribution the brain does not take this energy out of the body’s own deposits but out of additional food sources.   This results in weight gain.  According to Prof. Peters the “Selfish Brain Theory” can contribute to a better understanding of obesity.
    On an average seven bariatric surgeries are performed daily in Austria. The success of the outcome essentially depends on two factors: the compliance of the patient to change his/her lifestyle and the state of the art support before and after the surgery. However, substantial care deficits exist stated Prof. Dr. Karl Miller, Hallein (Austria). Obligatory visits with dietitians as well as psychological and physical therapy should be embedded in follow-up care.
    This year’s congress offered for the first time an opportunity to young dietitians to show the results of their bachelors’ degree research. These young colleagues have accomplished pioneering work.  They are the some of the first student dietitians to perform dietetic research in Austria.
    Trudy Giesinger, Dietitian
    Professor Andrea Hofbauer, President
    Austrian Association of Dietitians