Since its inception in 2016, the IDEA World Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit has become the go-to event for health and fitness pros interested in using the most innovative approaches to helping clients achieve sustainable change. Some of the world’s top researchers and educators have presented on this rich program and this year’s lineup, scheduled for June 29–30, is no exception. As a bonus, attendees can earn 12 CPEUs/CECs.

Sustainable change is nearly impossible without addressing nutrition and the factors that motivate people to adopt healthy long-term behaviors. The summit features top nutrition experts and behavior change scientists whose primary goal is to equip personal trainers, health coaches and nutrition professionals with the research-based protocols, real-world tactics, skills and programs to positively influence health and quality of life in the community.

“Cutting-edge events like the IDEA World Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit have been created in direct response to the evolving needs of the field and of society as a whole,” says Jessica Matthews, MS, 2017 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, professor of integrative wellness at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and senior adviser for the American Council on Exercise. “As we come together as dedicated professionals at conferences like these to talk more about topics such as lifestyle medicine and behavior change in ways that truly address the whole person (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually), I firmly believe that together we can finally ‘bridge the gap’ and provide a truly person-centered approach to health care that supports the health and well-being of individuals in body, mind and spirit.”

In the session “East Meets West: A Mindful Approach to Health Coaching,” Matthews will provide attendees with a research-supported plan to help clients build the “skillpower” they need to successfully adopt healthy behaviors.

Another way to stimulate positive behavior change is through motivational interviewing, explains Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, who will lead a session on the subject.

“Motivational interviewing works because it respects that individuals are experts on themselves and already have what it takes to make change,” she says. “This approach helps people talk themselves into change and come up with a plan that they are much more likely to follow through on than if someone else dictates the plan to them.”

A groundbreaking session will highlight the connection between brain, gut and microbiome. “While the mind and brain are undoubtedly important, the most recent scientific advances highlight that the gut itself is critical to success and has a profound influence on mood, behavior, and overall physical, mental and emotional health,” says presenter and gastroenterologist Joseph Weiss, MD. “It has become abundantly clear that what goes on in the gut has a dramatic effect on the brain and human behavior, as well as [on] overall human health. The microbiome and diet are extraordinarily complex yet are amenable to rapid and dramatic alterations that can be directed to achieve physical, mental and emotional health benefits.”

A current and sometimes controversial topic, nutrition research can appear contradictory and confusing. Kamal Patel, MPH, MBA, co-founder of, hopes to clear up some of the puzzlement in the session “Translating Today’s Nutrition Science for Your Clients.”

“I’ll help people understand some basics of the research process, like how research will naturally change as time goes on or what a ‘statistically significant’ finding means and what it doesn’t mean,” he says. “Attendees will also learn which websites are generally accurate and which aren’t. Some people click on whatever link first pops up in Google, but it could be a random article on a random, unreliable website or even a shallow article on a medical website.”

Check out the full list of topics and all other registration details at the IDEA World Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit by

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