Kit Taylor Lecture Provides Food for Thought

The 43rd Annual Kit Taylor Memorial Lecture continued the tradition of providing information on one aspect of CF care in a way to provoke thinking about what the future holds. Dr. Virginia Stallings, a nutrition pediatrician with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, shared her “Update on Nutrition Care for Children and Adults with CF” and used data from the past to identify implications for the future.

Dr. Karen Voter, director of the Rochester pediatric CF clinic, opened the lecture with her reflection on the contribution of Kit’s mother, Mary Jane Taylor, who passed away last fall. Mary Jane established the lecture series as a tribute to Kit’s enduring hope for those living with CF. She set high expectations the scope of the lectures and criteria for the presenters. This year’s presentation met those expectations.

Dr. Stallings has devoted her career to treating and researching nutrition of children with chronic disease, getting her start with CF. She used slides presenting data drawn from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation registry and a variety of studies to demonstrate the changes in CF nutrition that she has observed in her practice. Dr. Stallings also used trends in the data to identify areas in CF nutrition care that need to be reviewed and updated.

You can view the entire presentation in the recording provided by the Pediatric CF Clinic by clicking this link: Kit Taylor Lecture 2023. As an incentive to watch, here are a few highlights:

  • Over the past twenty years, the percentages of the CF population that are underweight and overweight have reversed.

  • Newborn screening and earlier diagnosis has improved nutrition management so that the weight/height statistics for CF children match the distribution in the general population.

  • Requirements for timing and fat soluble diets associated with CFTR modulators have resulted in better breakfast habits which, in turn, have benefited overall nutrition.

  • Improved growth patterns have significant implications for lung health. One, increased height translates to larger lungs and, thus, better FEV. Two, higher BMI correlates to better lung function.

  • While nutritional studies have focused on the impact of CFTR modulators, data from the CFF registry indicates that improvements in all areas of treatment have benefited the CF population as a whole.

Throughout the presentation, Dr. Stallings noted areas of nutrition management that need to be reviewed and updated.

  • The general dietary guidance needs to be reviewed and revised to reflect the changes in nutrition outcomes resulting from today’s more effective treatments. The “eat as much of everything you want” approach is no longer the best strategy. More attention needs to be paid to the components of an optimal diet.

  • The stages of human growth have different nutritional requirements, so appropriate diet management strategies need to be designed for distinct age groups.

  • Statistics drawn from the entire CF population are valuable in designing standards and general guidelines. However, specific dietary plans must be designed to match the nutritional status and functions of the individual.

It is well worth your time to view, and revisit, the recording of the 43rd Annual Kit Taylor Memorial Lecture.