Rob Danoff, DO, MS, FACOFP, FAAFP, wants people to add more color to their lives. And it starts in the produce aisle, not in the vitamin bottle.
“Everyone reaches for dietary supplements or the next miracle cure, whether it’s supplements or medications. But I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that 70 percent of all illness caused in this country and in industrialized worlds is lifestyle,” said Dr. Danoff, who will be presenting “Colors of Health” on Friday at noon with Nicole Paul, DO, RD. The session will take place in Hall A on the ground level of the convention center.
Dr. Danoff is a family physician and program director of The Family Practice Residency, as well as the combined Family Practice/Emergency Medicine Residency programs at Aria – Jefferson Health, Langhorne, Penn. Dr. Paul is an internal medicine physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach and a registered dietician.
Dr. Danoff noted that most medical schools spend minimal time on the education of nutrition, and particularly everyday practical food values. This session, he said, will not only provide guidance for physicians to help their patients, but it will also be good information for the physicians themselves.
“I hope people get a better awareness, but not only just for the patient,” he said. “What do doctors do a lot? We are in a hurry a lot. We eat standing up, we eat whatever’s brought to us quickly and a lot of it is fast food. So number one, I hope to educate the attendees just for their own health.”
“Colors of Health” refers to the colors reflected in fruits and vegetables, he added, colorful foods that provide natural vitamins and minerals.
“If we eat anything that’s dark green or purple that has lutein and zeaxanthin,” he said. “We know that in fact there are supplements with lutein and zeaxanthin to try to help prevent macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of visual problems in the world. So if we eat different colors, we are actually getting different ingredients.”
The message Dr. Danoff and Dr. Paul hope to convey is that people should put down the supplements and turn to Mother Nature to get the vitamins they need for good health. Vitamins and supplements have thousands of times the daily requirements, however, Dr. Danoff noted, our bodies can’t absorb all of that at one time.
“Our bodies are made to absorb nutritional value from the foods that we eat. So that’s what the ‘Colors of Health’ is about. Variety. We’re going to get into what’s in each food, what kind of health effects they have, and why it’s good to include them as part of a well rounded diet,” he said.
After Dr. Danoff discusses the superfoods and the studies supporting their nutritional value and the health benefits, he plans to introduce the field of nutritional psychiatry, cover the problems with artificial sweeteners and address issues with milk products.
Dr. Paul will then cover dieting, including what types of diets work and which don’t work.