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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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DSM enforces high-quality nutrition and trusted partnerships as key to achieving sustainable societal and economic progress

By Manfred Eggersdorfer

The Micronutrient Forum (MNF) envisions a world where all people have access to essential micronutrients at levels needed to promote health, prevent disease, and bring hidden hunger to an end. The 2016 conference focused on women’s nutrition as a catalyst for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), whereas nutrition has a role to play in all 17 goals. The health and wellbeing of women and girls are critical to enable healthy human lives, unlocking human potential, and ultimately sustainable development.

At this year’s MNF Conference, DSM was significantly engaged with a spread of expert presentations and panel talks, discussing the latest nutritional science and solutions to address malnutrition. Below is a summary of the key points discussed to help put science into action:

·       Nutrition is central in the development agenda. It is widely accepted in all sectors of society that the best and most sustainable solutions for public health problems come from a consensus between stakeholders of the public and the private sectors. Successful program realization in public-private partnerships strongly depends on trust and transparency between all stakeholders. The basic prerequisite must be inclusive and accountable. Without achieving effective nutrition targets, development policies cannot be successful.

·       To eliminate hunger, it is not enough to provide food in sufficient quantity and measured by caloric intake. This food must also include the necessary ingredients/nutrients for human health. The private sector’s role is pivotal and strongly recognized in the delivery of nutrient-dense and quality foods.

·       Hidden hunger in elderly populations is a global health and economic challenge. Nutrition and physical exercise, combined with lifestyle and psychosocial aspects are determining factors for improved functionality and quality in older life. Diet is a modifiable factor that can be used to prevent diseases and promote economic savings in the global systems.

·       Malnutrition does more harm to vulnerable populations; besides the elderly population, particularly to poor women and children. Besides the collectively protected right to food and nutrition, children, pregnant and lactating women are designated for further protection in human rights resolutions.

·       The future directions for the MNF builds on its mission, leading from discovery to delivery across multiple sectors. While ambitious targets have been set to ensure the global governance of nutrition, more is needed to meet the challenge of providing each person with enough nutritious food, while at the same time protecting the environment and natural resources.

The new book ‘Good Nutrition: Perspectives for the 21st Century’ was officially launched to coincide with the MNF, and deals with all of the above points. The book’s prime objective is to call readers to action, and outline what action needs to be taken to achieve tangible outcomes and impact. The fact that its scope covers the developed as well as the developing world makes it all the more powerful, for there are no countries in the world today that are not faced with major malnutrition challenges.

The MNF unites multiple expertise and puts micronutrients at center stage, to facilitate collaboration across sectors, frontiers and cultures. DSM experts working in research, program-delivery, advocacy and business are engaged to build bridges between research and its application, and to identify gaps and opportunities for better nutritional solutions for the world. We can become the first generation to cancel hunger from the planet – the Zero Hunger Generation. Let’s keep on working together to end hunger and malnutrition.

To learn more about DSM’s engagement in fighting hidden hunger, please visit www.nutritionimprovement.com


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