Guelph-Humber News

Published on February 24, 2016 | by Emilie Bell     Photography by Emilie Bell


Nutrition draws kinesiology students to conference

Four kinesiology students from the University of Guelph-Humber attended the Canadian Nutritional Society (CNS) Thematic Conference to enhance their knowledge on the nutrition field.

This year’s conference in Toronto on Jan. 12, was about advances in nutrition and metabolic syndrome.

Dr. David Ma, a kinesiology professor at Guelph-Humber, is a member of CNS and was recently selected as vice-president of research starting in 2017. Ma said the one-day event focuses on topical issues.

Ma said metabolic syndrome is not well known, but is a pre-disease that comes before cancer, heart disease and diabetes. “If we can conquer metabolic syndrome we can tackle the pre-diseases, then people won’t have to deal with something more life threatening,” he said.

Leading experts delivered lectures at the conference. Students who attended were, “getting a peek at what the future might be like and getting that experience firsthand,” Ma said.

Emma Donnelly, a second-year kinesiology student at Guelph-Humber, attended the conference because she is interested in nutrition as one of the fields of kinesiology. “I was wanting to understand more about nutrition and how it affects populations, also, there is so much controversial stuff about nutrition.”

Nardine Effat, a second-year kinesiology student, said she went to the CNS conference because it was an opportunity to learn new things about nutrition. “I wanted to be able to pass on research-based conclusions to people who seek my aid in weight loss.”

At the conference students listened to different speakers talk about their research in metabolic syndrome. Students doing their masters and PhD’s had booths set up.

“It was really cool that you had people who were working in the field, people were studying in the field and people that were already dietitians in the field who were there to get more information for their clients,” said Donnelly.

Donnelly said she enjoyed the conference. She said it feels like it has given her knowledge for her future career.

“My favourite part was talking to other students who are in the field and trying to get their masters/PhD because that is kind of what I want to go into,” she said. “I hope it will guide me to where I might want to go with nutrition and where I want to see myself with my clients.”

Effat said she found the conference enlightening and it motivated her to keep working hard so she can be like one of the speakers in her future.

Ma said he believed this is a very worthwhile event for students to go to. “Attending conferences is very valuable for trainees, they get to experience what life might be after they graduate.”

Ma encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. “These events are happening right in our backyards. It’s just a bus ride downtown to attend these major, international conferences.”

Ma said so far the process of choosing the students that will attend has been through an email explanation of interest with first come first served. Although he said in the future students may have to write a paper to apply for attendance. Information on the event is given by professors during class lectures.


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