‘Teach babies to get used to the taste of vegetables as early as possible, even earlier than fruit, for improved acceptance,’ recommends Dr Gerry Jager of Wageningen University. ‘Learn young, learn for life’ was the theme of the 6th National Nutrition Conference, an initiative of the Alliantie Voeding Gelderse Vallei.
It was a day full of absorbing and well-attended lectures. To kick off, Professor Hans Romijn, internist/endocrinologist at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, explained the important role of the brain in insulin resistance. ‘It is extraordinary that we are only now really starting to do research into the role of our brains in the relationship between nutrition and disease,’ he said. ‘Really, the role of the brain ought to be part of every biological concept.’ Professor Sander Kersten of Wageningen University then introduced the concept of ‘healthy obesity’. It is known that the BMI is a very limited guide as a classification for obesity. The concept of ‘healthy obesity’ may offer a refinement. By this term he means obese individuals who are metabolically healthy, i.e. no different from healthy people with a normal body weight. Further development of this concept will require critical evaluation of current ideas about obesity, says Kersten.
As in previous years, two prizes were awarded at the 6th National Nutrition Conference:
- The annual prize for the best poster was won by AnneMarthe Wijnen, a student at Wageningen University, for her poster ‘Post-exercise rehydration: effect of beer consumption on fluid balance’.
- The Alpro Foundation Award 2013 was presented to Ellen Bakker, also a student at Wageningen University, for her dissertation ‘The nutritional and environmental effects of the replacement of meat and dairy by plant-derived foods within diets of Dutch children aged 2 to 6 years.’
The conference concluded with the debate ‘Is nutritional research still credible?’ Science journalist Hans van Maanen debated with Dr Marianne Geleijnse of Wageningen University and chair of the Dutch Academy of Nutritional Sciences (NAV). Nutrition is emotion, hypes come and go, newspapers make headlines with new developments. Knowledge is necessary to make distinctions. All the parties need to accept their responsibilities in terms of what is presented to the public.
The National Nutrition Conference is an initiative of the Alliantie Voeding Gelderse Vallei, a partnership between the Gelderse Vallei Hospital and Wageningen University. This alliance brings together nutritional knowledge on the one hand and prevention and care on the other. The debate was organised by the Dutch Academy of Nutritional Sciences (NAV). The NAV is the platform for scientifically trained nutritional experts in the Netherlands.
Dit is een persbericht van de Alliantie Voeding Gelderse Vallei. Contact: Menrike Menkveld-Beukers: 0318-435484