January in Australia: a time famous for tennis tournaments, sun-kissed stone fruit and a healthy dose of the outdoors as swathes of the population hit the beaches and bushwalking trails.
Hitching a ride into the warmer days are of course the perennial list of new year's resolutions. Losing some weight, eating more veggies, and relying less on processed convenience foods usually make the cut.
The holidays can often be a time of over-indulgence in calorically dense yet nutritionally poor food choices. Unfortunately though, it’s not just the few weeks over Christmas and New Year’s that have many of us tipping the scales.
The Heart Foundation has looked at the stats and, shockingly, five of the most overweight regions in Australia are located in one state: Queensland. Even in the outdoorsy capital of Brisbane, a quarter of residents are considered to be in the obese weight range.
With these numbers, it’s no surprise that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and injury burden for Queenslanders. It certainly seems like opportune timing for Dr. Kim Williams - former US tennis pro, acclaimed cardiologist, and passionate proponent of healthy lifestyle habits – to be visiting Australia's sunshine state.
While Downunder for the Australian Open tennis, Dr. Williams is set to headline a one-day Nutrition in Healthcare Symposium in Brisbane on January 13, hosted by the new health-promotion charity, Doctors For Nutrition.
Entitled Young at Heart, this event is an opportunity for healthcare practitioners and the general public alike to power up their nutrition prescription for 2019. The event will showcase the latest evidence-based information on how we can age-proof our health and reduce our chances of succumbing to chronic diseases and obesity at all stages of life.
Dr. Kim Williams talks about the benefits of a plant-based diet
Among his many public roles, Dr. Kim Williams was President of the American College of Cardiology in 2015-16. During that time, he put plant-based nutrition firmly on the radar for the prevention and reversal of heart disease, famously stating: "There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven’t read the data."
As well as learning about heart health from Dr. Williams (Rush University, Chicago), attendees at the Brisbane Symposium will hear from a range of Australian dietitians and medical doctors - including the co-founder of Doctors For Nutrition, pediatrician Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema.
Attendees will also be the first in Australia to see Diet Fiction, a brand new feature documentary from the award-winning director of Food Choices. This film - with an eminent cast of health specialists including Dr. Williams - reveals shocking facts about the diet industry, the devastating effects of obesity, and the evidence that points towards an entirely different way to achieve sustainable weight loss and improved wellbeing.
For anyone who wants to start the year feeling empowered to optimise their health, it certainly can't hurt your new year's resolutions to head along to this once-off special event and discover more about the beneficial role of food as medicine.
Readers of Plant Based News can access a 10 percent ticket discount to the event using the checkout code: PBN
You can buy tickets here