It has been an interesting week. The week started with a short flight down to Caguas, Puerto Rico to attend the International Conference on Health Promotion. It had a pretty impressive lineup of speakers, including representatives from health promotion, public health, and policy hailing from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, and Spain. I was only able to attend the first day as I traveled the next day to collaborate and consult on a grant cultivating new HIV researchers on the island. However, I was able to see several accounts of what has been done and what is being planned in the area of public health via survey results from Chile, a forward-looking global accounting from PAHO, and a fascinating history of the efforts towards health promotion in Canada.
On the food front – it struck me that this conference, like many others focused on health, offered only decidedly unhealthy options. I can’t really say that *I* would have made a great choice anyway, as later I had my traditional meal of Mofongo & Medalla.
At the conference as well as the visit the following day, there was substantial interest and openness about possibilities with mHealth and SMS patient reminders for public health initiatives as well as among HIV clinicians. Apparently, even though mobile phone penetration there isn’t quite what it is on the mainland, it is significant enough to merit attention.
Upon my return I found a message from a columnist at the Wall Street Journal who was interested in doing an interview about guarana based on an article on energy drinks I wrote a few years ago. The timing was just a little off as another article I helped write on energy drinks, including newer issues like toxic jock identity and anti-energy drinks, will be published next month in The Physician and Sportsmedicine. Anyway, at this point I have done enough interviews to have relative comfort – but it is always an adventure to see what actually shows up in print. I have found it beneficial to speak both with media savvy people in my shoes and others whose business it is like @CreativeFusion (oh Twitterverse, is there anything you can’t help with?). In this case, it was pretty brief and straightforward and I even learned about Perky Jerky.
All in all, an interesting week. I have stayed pretty close to my 2010 plan of hump day posts, but intend to take a ‘no excuses’ approach in the future by planning further ahead as necessary. I’ll close with this delicious piece of proximal irony that I saw on my way home.