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ILSI Europe contributed to the Food4Health Conference (27-28 October 2021), co-organised by EIT Food and EIT Health. The conference brought together European innovators who are tackling societal challenges at the border of food and health.

In ILSI Europe we contributed addressing the challenge of empowering consumers to make evidence- based nutritional decisions. To do so, we presented a compilation of findings from recent reports on the continued interest but also uncertainty consumers experience when food-related information is concerned. While consumers generally trust experts for nutritional advice more than non-expert sources, the frequency with which they are exposed to non-evidence-based information from different media offers little confidence in their lifestyle and nutritional choices. The importance of continuous engagement with consumers and patients was highlighted and the multistakeholder approach put forward as a model with proven success in reaching wider audiences.

Other delegates from Food4Health, food businesses, start-ups, academic and non-profit organisations also provided insights into pressing nutrition and lifestyle problems we are facing today and the potential of nutritional research to contribute to their resolution.

The event showcased specifically two projects funded by the Food4Health programme and their current development - STOP MetSyn and MuscleCancer. The speakers presented preliminary results on:

  • nutritional interventions in (breast) cancer patients based on lipidomics profiles,
  • nutritional interventions to limit muscle loss and improve the treatment outcomes in patients with various cancer diagnoses,
  • the potential of digital personalised advice tools to induce life-style changes for improving metabolic health and lower obesity rates,
  • the power of flavours identification to assist patients with disrupted sensory organs for smell and taste,
  • the advance of educational and psychological interventions with adults and schoolchildren to induce and educate healthy lifestyle,
  • and the importance and continued need for science outreach to consumers and patients with evidence-based advice related to nutrition and food safety.

Opportunity was given specifically to many young researchers from the teams working on those projects to present their findings.

“It is imperative to develop joint strategy and build shared portfolio to better exploit the opportunities offered by the overarching area of food for health.”
- Dr Menno Kok, Managing Director EIT Health Belgium-Netherlands