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DSM highlights need for further research into maternal and infant nutrition at High Level Forum

Kaiseraugst, CH, 16 Jun 2014 10:15 CEST

DSM raises awareness of advancing research into maternal and infant nutrition at the event ‘Activating a Global Research Agenda for Nutrition Science’, taking place 16-17 June in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The forum, titled “International Maternal and Child Nutrition: Initiating Research through Multi-stakeholder Collaboration”, will focus on the development of detailed proposals for four identified research themes and aims to encourage public-private partnership to advance nutrition research.

DSM’s contribution will form part of a wider discussion into key topics, namely the health and nutrition of adolescent girls, heterogeneity of response, improved dietary assessment and scaling up nutritional solutions. Group sessions, plenary discussions and presentations will cover all aspects of these themes to address the key objectives of the forum.

Senior scientific expert Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer from DSM Nutritional Products will give a keynote address. The professor for Healthy Aging at the University Medical Center, Groningen, will discuss “Interest and contribution of business to key issues in maternal and child nutrition”, covering the importance of businesses taking action against malnutrition and working towards a world free from hunger and obesity. This is at the core of Scaling Up Nutrition, or SUN, Business Platform; a unique movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. It unites important nations, organizations and individuals in a collective effort to improve nutrition.

Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM and Chair of the SUN Business Platform, will introduce the current issue of malnutrition. In his video presentation, he states “3,000 children die around the world every day due to inadequate nutrient intake, while on the other hand, more than one billion people globally suffer from overweight and obesity. DSM has played a significant role in tackling global nutrition challenges over the last seven years through our partnership with the UN World Food Programme, including raising awareness and developing new nutrient-rich products to combat hunger. We are committed to continuing this fight.

Acknowledging the key role that the food and nutrition industry plays in furthering these goals, Professor Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice-President, Nutrition Science & Advocacy, comments: “Many companies have been collaborating to create new solutions but these must now be scaled up. Businesses need incentives to invest, such as a supportive environment with governmental provision of a positive regulatory framework and the institutions to guarantee fair competition and encourage the multi-sector collaboration that is needed to combat malnutrition.

The session will inform attendees that action taken in the first 1000 days of life have the most significant and sustained impact on cognitive development and the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in adulthood. While more beneficial to childhood health, these solutions are also economically viable and have the biggest returns on investment for manufacturers.

As the world’s largest supplier of vitamins, carotenoids, micronutrient premixes and other nutrition ingredients, DSM is committed to raising awareness of hidden hunger and combating micronutrient deficiency around the world through a number of initiatives.