Healthy Eating in Practice Conference Draws National Audience of Physicians to Asheville

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Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, in partnership with Duke University World Food Policy Center, University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and MAHEC, will present the Healthy Eating in Practice Conference August 26-29 at the Omni Grove Park Inn.

Daphne Miller, M.D., author of Farmacology, will give a keynote address on the intersection of farming, food, and health.

“By shopping at farmers’ markets and farm stands, by buying from CSAs, by cooking our own food, and by voting with our forks and our ballots, we have collectively managed to spawn a growing network of healthy farms and a new generation of farmers who think like farmer ecologists,” writes Dr. Miller in Farmacology. “It is time that we bring this same purpose and imagination to medicine.”

Healthy Eating in Practice is a hands-on conference for practitioners, researchers, and influencers, focused on changing the culture of healthcare to better support healthy eating behaviors, particularly in children and families, and prevent chronic diet-related diseases. Grounded in experiential learning, this national conference will equip attendees with practical skills and approaches that work in the day-to-day reality of healthcare.

In addition to presentations by leading practitioners, researchers, and policy experts, attendees will visit area farms, farmers markets, and gardens, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Olivette Farm, Patchwork Urban Farms, and Isaac Dickson Elementary School. Participatory cooking workshops will be team taught by nutrition experts alongside culinary professionals from Rhubarb, Nightbell, and more.

For more than two decades ASAP has been a leader in connecting communities to food and farms, simultaneously building markets for locally grown food, increasing access, and promoting positive relationships with healthy foods. “We’ve lost the connection between farmers and food,” said ASAP Executive Director Charlie Jackson. “The disconnect can be seen in the impact of food on our health. The food we eat is currently a cause of ill health. Preventable diet-related disease is a leading cause of premature death and negatively impacts the quality of life of millions of people and cost us hundreds of billions of dollars every year in healthcare costs.”

“As a cardiologist, I know too well the impact of poor nutrition on chronic diseases—about 75% of chronic diseases are directly related to lifestyle,” said ASAP board member Brian Asbill, M.D. “As healthcare costs continue to rise, it is clear that our current medical system simply cannot stem the tide of chronic disease. Healthy Eating in Practice is a prescription to help revolutionize that system.”

Additional speakers include William H. Dietz, M.D., Chair of the Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at George Washington University; Kelly D. Brownell, Director of the Duke World Food Policy Center; and Patrick Conway, M.D., President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Alice Ammerman, Director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Gabriela Maradiaga Panayotti, M.D., Medical Director of Duke Children’s Healthy Lifestyles Program, serve as course directors.

Registration for the conference is now open at Attendance for the four-day conference is $1,150 if registering by June 1, and $1,450 after. Continuing education credits, including 19.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits, are accredited through a joint providership of the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) and ASAP. Healthy Eating in Practice is made possible by generous support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.