Monday Roundtable Luncheon
Obesity and dental caries are prevalent, but preventable, chronic childhood diseases. These diseases are multifactorial in nature and share common nutritional risk factors. Since there are many behavioral factors that affect both oral health and child weight status, dental professionals are well-positioned to comprehensively evaluate child dietary and nutritional behaviors, assess risk, and provide appropriate counseling to children and families to prevent obesity and dental caries. Resources to help the dental community effectively integrate nutritional counseling into practice and in a variety of settings (academia, dental clinics) are currently lacking. Through a Health Resources and Services Administration grant the authors developed a Nutritional Counseling and Obesity Prevention (NCOP) handbook for the dental community. This handbook was developed primarily to serve as an important evidence-based resource for interested dental schools and dental hygiene programs to increase the knowledge and skills of students. It can also be a useful resource for practicing dental professionals, oral health-related organizations, community health centers with dental clinics, and other academic programs interested in playing a role in childhood obesity prevention efforts. In this session, the authors will share the handbook and accompanying training materials and discuss strategies to integrate NCOP training into academic and clinical practice.