Don's Diary

January 28, 2000


Last day of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Here to attend the conference but also to publicise our weight-loss programme for children at Leeds Metropolitan University. The Carnegie International Camp - a holiday camp for kids based on exercise, diet and education - was set up in response to the increasing prevalence of obesity. I go for a run and then head to a plenary lecture for 8am. Some very interesting information about obesity and its links with diabetes and heart disease. The conference finishes at 1pm, I spend the afternoon shopping and sightseeing and the evening working on a grant application for an afterschool weight-loss programme.


I spend the morning organising my thoughts and making more comprehensive notes following the conference. After lunch I head to the airport for a 15-hour trip back to England. The flight gives me time to review my lectures for the week ahead.


Arrive back in England, flight was OK, apart from nearly missing my connection in Brussels and my luggage being lost. Night out with my family and friends as my brother is emigrating to Australia.


Drive back to Leeds in the morning and go to the office to do a bit of work for a busy week ahead. I spend time reviewing my mail, email and phone messages - a major task after spending a week away. In the evening I work on a journal article.


In work for about 7am. I work on data from the summer camp programme. Two one-hour undergraduate lectures and one seminar before an afternoon meeting with a paediatrician about a project investigating diabetes in children. At 5pm I head to the gym, where I have a part-time job as a coach. To the track at 7pm, where I coach middle-distance athletes. I train with them, but age is no longer on my side.


Finish journal article before meeting my supervisor; we discuss the new ideas I have after last week's conference. In the afternoon drive to RAF Cosford in Shropshire to give a presentation on body composition analysis. My talk seems to generate healthy debate. Meet one of our industrial collaborators to discuss future developments in the field.


In early, write letters seeking sponsorship for next year's weight-loss programme. Nutrition seminar is followed by tutorials and then complete an exam script. Work on grant application to support next year's programme. To the gym at 5pm. I coach 16 boys aged six to seven years, it's a lot of fun and it helps me switch off from work. To the track later, a hard session ahead for my athletes, and again I trail them from a distance.

Paul Gately is lecturer in exercise physiology and health technical

director of the Carnegie International Camp, Leeds Metropolitan University.

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