Theme 1: Empowering health through nutrition, health and sustainability inspired nutrition | Moderator: Jurriaan Mes
Healthy nutrition is an important aspect that affects people’s vitality. However, unhealthy diets are highly prevalent in Western industrialized countries and are a leading cause of overweight, obesity and related morbidity and eventually mortality. Recent research increasingly addresses the influence of food products and environment on an individual’s health. Therefore, applying the concept of empowerment to the field of healthy nutrition is promising and should also go hand in hand with environmental sustainability aspects. In this session, we will be focusing on topics such as inherently safe and healthy food products, better understanding of the health-nutrition link and empowered consumers who are committed to long-term positive change.
A sound transition towards a sustainable agri-food system is only possible based on scientific data, models and methods, which not only reveal the dominant weighing principle, but also weigh cost and benefits of the transition and monitor progress including risks in an objective way. Especially when considering the transitions that are relevant for the agri-food system like the design of full circular systems or the transition to a more plant-based diet, a crucial success factor is that there is no (re)circulation of antinutritional or toxic components or lead to the presence of new chemical or microbial contaminants or allergens that may impact the safety within the food system. Moreover it is increasingly important to make information available on compositional aspects, objective sustainability parameters as well as health impacts. During this session novel methodologies to ensure the safety of food products in food systems in transition, and to make sure the consumers are well informed to make choices in an easier way towards safe, healthy and sustainable food products are topics that will receive attention.
By using these 3 thematic areas as starting points for developing overarching solutions, the intention is to impact the whole system in terms of increasing the safety and healthiness, while transforming food system to ensure that we remain within the planetary boundaries.
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