Del Mar Healthy Living Festival: A Review

I recently attended the Healthy Living Festival at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  I am not sure what I was expecting, but as a soon-to-be Registered Dietitian, I was excited by the event with the tag line "San Diego's Largest Health and Fitness Expo".  My thoughts below are mainly depicted with the snapshots of the event: IMG_2158The only food available for purchase at the festival without corn syrup or fried in oil?  Probably the "Ice Tea" !!

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Really?  The man coming out of this van could help YOU get thin?  No thanks.  The entire festival seemed chock-a-block with sleazy  promises of miracles and shortcuts.  Probably a lot of ALL CAPS emails from him, though, which could be fun but has no clinical basis.

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This was one of the only activities present.  Rolling around in a giant blow up ball.  At least there was something physical to do at the festival, but it wasn't free and wasn't paired with any objective educational resources on the value of physical activity towards healthy weight loss GETTING THIN NOW!!!

IMG_2152From a professional standpoint, I cringe when I see vague "analysis" offered to the public like this.  I want to see evidence based research, clearly there was none here.

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I've been thinking a lot about fad diets like the alkaline diet, and the focus on "changing pH" (impossible in our homeostatic bodies) while ignoring blood sugar control etc, seems to boil down to eating fresh vegetables and less processed foods, which most people can do all on their own as recommended by dietitians and physicians. It seems like the main result of the Alkaline Diet (and their multitude of commercial derivatives) is selling the alkaline diet idea, not health outcomes.

IMG_2148One of the food vendors.  Although I am not a fan of the Paleo diet, one thing I did appreciate about the festival is that small food companies had a place to try to sell their products and attract new customers through sampling.

Overall, I was disappointed by the paucity of peer-reviewed, evidence-based products and services offered to the public.  While the yoga classes and VitaMix demonstrations seemed interesting, they were also understated and had few if any AMAZING! claims attached.