The Sanatorio Adventista del Plata (SAP) and the Universidad Adventista del Plata (UAP), in Argentina, organized the second national and fourth Latin American edition of the Congress of Lifestyle Medicine, which took place on November 2–4.
The congress was attended by 200 health professionals (150 in person and 50 virtually), including doctors, kinesiologists, nurses, psychologists, and nutritionists. All of them were representatives from 23 countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay, among others.
"Thank God we received a lot of feedback from the professionals who participated in this edition of the Congress," says Dr. Valeria Broder, a cardiologist at the SAP and a member of the organizing committee of the event. "We had an excellent attendance, both nationally and internationally. It was gratifying to make contact with colleagues from Mexico or Australia, or from Santa Fe and Río Negro, Argentina, among others, sharing experiences and deepening our understanding of lifestyle medicine [LSM]."
Twenty-seven national and international speakers provided the framework for this meeting. The lineup included Dr. Beth Freid, president of the American Society of Lifestyle Medicine; Dr. Torben Bergland, associate director of the Health Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Dr. Vania Assaly, director of the Institute of Personalized Medicine, Brazil; Dr. Marco Albuja, ideologist of the health outreach program "Towards a New Lifestyle"; Dr. Lujhon Flores Gutierrez, director of the Lifestyle Clinic, in Mexico; Dr. Luiz Fernando Sella, president of AMA Brazil; and Dr. Jason Aragon, graduate director of Public Health at Montemorelos University.
"A stimulating and motivating environment was created for each of the health professionals who attended the congress," says Dr. Broder. "This will provide the opportunity to find new ways of working in the line of lifestyle medicine."
This meeting was endorsed by the Argentine Society of Lifestyle Medicine (SAMEV), and the Latin American Society of Lifestyle Medicine made a further contribution to this congress. Lifestyle medicine is a trend that began in the United States and is developing in South America. It is a proposal that is spreading around the world.
"During these days, topics concerning the history and foundation of LAM were addressed, as well as topics such as diabetes, microbiota, children's lifestyle, and the importance of the first thousand days of childhood, breastfeeding, sports, social connection, spirituality, among others," Dr. Broder explains.
The congress modality was hybrid, and the following themes were addressed: global overview of lifestyle medicine, pillars of lifestyle medicine, lifestyle medicine in the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases, lifestyle medicine from the early stages of life, healthy longevity, impact of our habits on the immune response, mood disorders and lifestyle medicine, how to spread lifestyle medicine, and training and current practice of lifestyle medicine.
On the first day of the event, the community in general was invited, both in person and virtually, to participate in a moment of reflection, where each person invited could talk and ask the speakers about their doubts or topics to know, always from the perspective of lifestyle medicine.
"This idea arose because there are many people who want to know more about the subject, and this was an ideal place to solve their doubts," says Dr. Broder. "It was also an opportunity to motivate those present to spread this knowledge, always based on scientific knowledge," she emphasizes.
Dr. Gabriel Lapman, vice president of SAMEV, expressed his opinion about this congress: "We experienced an innovative activity, very well organized, with a first-level scientific quality. I consider that it is very necessary, within the health problems we are living today, a congress on medicine and lifestyle where risk factors, dietary factors, and tools to improve, prevent, and reverse chronic diseases are explained."
This proposal is part of a worldwide movement of this type of medicine, aimed at health professionals and students whose objective is to raise awareness about the subject and raise it more assiduously among these components of the institutional communities and, in addition, in the providers of the whole region.