Joining cultures through nutrition
Hello from Granada, Spain!
General Mills is so pleased to be participating in the IUNS 20th International Congress on Nutrition (ICN).
This international meeting, held every four years, has been in place for over six decades to “promote the advancement of the science of nutrition, research, and development through international cooperation globally.”
We’re honored to be involved as an industry partner this year, supporting scientific dialogue related to dietary guidelines and strategies to address global obesity.
We hosted a sponsored symposium on Monday, “Food Choices Throughout the Day to Address Global Obesity: Review of the Evidence and Future Opportunities.”
Conference attendees were eager to participate in the discussion regarding translating nutrition science to practical dietary advice.
We convened five speakers from around the world to touch on evidence related to global dietary guidelines, food behaviors, and the role of whole grains, dairy, and fruits and vegetables, in weight management and chronic disease risk reduction.
France Bellisle, PhD Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine d’Ile de France, Bobigny, France, co-chaired the session and spoke to food behaviors related to weight management.
She shared data from her research examining the impact of environmental factors (like the presence or attractiveness of foods, social stimulation, TV or music) on the amount of food consumed.
“Strategies to improve health need to involve so much more than the typical research that focuses on the nutritional merits of one food or one ingredient,”Dr. Bellisle said. “This research should help us to facilitate control over body weight and nutritional status by understanding and regulating ingestive behaviors. Many, many factors impact intake … clearly there is more work to be done to understand what makes people pay attention or not to eating,” she said.
In the meantime, she recommends “Pay attention while you are eating.”
Antonia Trichopoulou, MD from the University of Athens and Hellenic Health Foundation, spoke regarding global dietary guidelines.
She said that dietary guidance has to be made easy for people to implement.
“Dietary guidance varies around the world … This is due to cultural differences, availability of natural resources, globalization, food industry innovation and many, many other reasons.”
Dr. Trichopoulou concluded that over the next decade we will see a focus on sustainability as something to address. “Sustainable foods will have to be considered when building dietary recommendations.”
She also discussed the need to move from nutrient based dietary advice toward food based dietary advice. Similar to the theme from Dr. Bellisle’s talk, Dr. Trichopoulou purported that food consumption patterns rather than single foods or nutrients should become the focus.
“The combinations of different types of food might be necessary to express their health protective potential,” she said.
Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, Pennsylvania State University Department of Nutritional Sciences, presented the state of the science related to whole grains and body weight management and chronic disease risk reduction.
Whole grains have been shown to be protective in relation to maintaining healthier body weights and reduced risks for cardiovascular disease. “Three servings of whole grain per day can decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome by nearly 50 percent. That is pretty compelling data,” she said. “Consume whole grains for better health”.
Angelo Tremblay, PhD from the Department of Kinesiology Laval University, discussed that dairy foods may favor the prevention of excess energy intake, overweight, and metabolic syndrome.
Brian Buijsse, PhD, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam Rehbruecke, rounded out our symposium with research indicating that eating vegetables and fruits may lower the rate of weight gain in adulthood, perhaps especially in people at high risk for weight gain.
In addition, prospective studies indicate higher than usual intakes of fruits and vegetables consistently relate to lower risk of CHD, stroke, type 2 DM and overall cancer.
There also was discussion throughout the session related to how socioeconomic status impacts efforts to implement dietary recommendations and guidance.
In keeping with the overall conference theme, “Joining Cultures through Nutrition,” the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition also is very pleased to have an exhibit booth here at ICN.
Our nutrition scientists from different regions of the world are engaging with conference attendees about General Mills, the breadth of our global brands, our commitments to health and nutrition, and our sustainability efforts.