Last night we had our senior presentation. The basics of the project was to pick a health issue of concern to the public, specifically trying to target the US population, do the research, compile it into a poster, and present it to the department faculty and grad students. Basically this project is half of our grade for senior seminar.
Andrea, Molly and myself worked together on this project. One of the overlapping themes between us are the concepts of being healthy at most any weight, eating natural and local, and not consuming pharmaceutical drugs. At first we wanted to address the public health issue of obesity and learning to distinguish between genuine obesity and really just being built bigger and still being healthy/fit. Think Kevin James. However there really isn't any research being done on that and we have to back all of our stuff by research and journal articles.
So eventually we found a lifestyle approach we have all been contemplating and like. The Mediterranean diet. We then started finding more and more literature that seemed to suggest there's a link between decreased prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (among MANY other chronic diseases) and the Medi Diet.
So voila, our topic came to be The Mediterranean Diet and the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease!!!
Last night the faculty and grad students drilled us. One recent Ph.D. grad student and Andrea got into a 45-minute discussion of the biochemistry-related pathways. He started off talking to me and I honestly deflected him towards Andrea who understood it better. One professor, Dr. Melby, decided to lecture us for 45-minutes which pissed me off. We are there to present and discuss, not sit through a lecture from professors, but I guess that's what happens when you get big-headed professors talking to people about subjects they are "passionate about". Dr. Auld and I had a pretty good discussion on how easy the diet is to follow and whether the US population really would adapt and be able to incorporate the diet into our lifestyle.
The Medi Diet isn't just a lifestyle with food.....when you look deeper (of course, not backed by research) it's also their lifestyle that contributes to less incidence of chronic diseases. It's a completely different way of life and way of eating and way of looking at food. Of course, you can't say that when your professors are looking for the clinical trial proof and such.
Which leads me to my last exasperation, honestly I think research when it comes largely in the form of nutrition research, is the biggest bunch of bullshit. You can't really "prove" anything, especially as food and nutrition and eating is so synergistic, meaning it depends on multiple confounding factors, not just one thing....and when you only look at or change one aspect, you will have effects in multiple other areas. It's just stupid in my opinion....but hey what do I know, I'm just a lowly undergrad :)
our poster hanging in the Gifford building near our department
my group and i happy to be done "presenting" our poster after over two hours....