Chicago, IL, July 12th, 2018 – The 6th edition of the Better Foods for Better Health White Book has been published, providing new insight from 30 thought leaders from science and industry on the growing role and potential of childhood nutrition to build a healthy life. The White Book is based on presentations and discussions held at the symposium from March 20th – 22nd at Les Pensières Center for Global Health. A series of videos supplements this document.
Organized by Fondation Mérieux with the support of Mérieux NutriSciences, the Better Foods for Better Health forum brought together over 100 global experts from academia, international organizations, NGOs, regulatory authorities and industry. This 6th Better Foods for Better Health symposium produced a number of messages about childhood nutrition, including:
- Diet during the first years of life has long-term effects on growth and metabolism, the immune system and the susceptibility to developing infections and allergies, as well as on behavior and cognitive development.
- A recurrent theme of the symposium was the need for more and more accurate data on nutrition to support effective interventions.
- The microbiota appears key in linking diet, immunity, metabolism, cognition and behavior. A better understanding of these connections will be required to design microbiota-derived diagnostics and interventions.
- The impact of many nutritional interventions has been disappointing probably because they were employed too late. Interventional studies would likely be most impactful during the prenatal or early postnatal period.
- More generally, it is important to have a narrative about nutrition that inspires policymakers to dedicate more resources and establish more interventions in this area. Nutrition plays a large role in people’s health, a fact that is not always reflected in the resources dedicated to it, compared to infectious disease.
Food safety and nutrition are major global public health challenges. There is an increasing awareness that good nutrition is key to building and sustaining health and well-being. The “Better Foods for Better Health” series of symposiums is dedicated to sharing the latest scientific developments in nutrition in both developed and developing countries. Valuable insight from industry is provided, placing the consumer at the center of the dialogue between scientific evidence and public policy makers.
Philippe Sans, Mérieux NutriSciences’ President and CEO stated: “Mérieux NutriSciences supports initiatives to advance the fields of food safety and nutrition for the consumers’ well-being. Childhood nutrition is a major topic that will have an impact on future generations and we are very pleased to generate discussion with events like Better Foods for Better Health”.
Increasing dialogue between the scientific community, regulatory, nutrition and industry stakeholders is a top priority. Mérieux NutriSciences is proud to contribute to this dialogue with Fondation Mérieux.
A copy of the White Book is available upon request.