Bellagio Report on Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People
Nutrients 2013, 5(2), 411-423; doi:10.3390/nu5020411
The Bellagio Report on Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People is the result of the meeting held at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy, 29 October–2 November 2012. The meeting was science-based but policy-oriented. The role and amount of healthy and unhealthy fats, with attention to the relative content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, sugar, and particularly fructose in foods that may underlie the epidemics of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) worldwide were extensively discussed. The report concludes that sugar consumption, especially in the form of high energy fructose in soft drinks, poses a major and insidious health threat, especially in children, and most diets, although with regional differences, are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and too high in omega-6 fatty acids. Gene-nutrient interactions in growth and development and in disease prevention are fundamental to health, therefore regional Centers on Genetics, Nutrition and Fitness for Health should be established worldwide. Heads of state and government must elevate, as a matter of urgency, Nutrition as a national priority, that access to a healthy diet should be considered a human right and that the lead responsibility for Nutrition should be placed in Ministries of Health rather than agriculture so that the health requirements drive agricultural priorities, not vice versa. Nutritional security should be given the same priority as food security.
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Report from the Biennial Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS) Held in Adelaide, November 2011
Nutrients 2012, 4(5), 372-398; doi:10.3390/nu4050372
The Australasian section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS) held their biennial meeting in Adelaide, Australia on 8–11 November 2011. Over 70 scientists, researchers and industry representatives gathered for three days of talks and discussions on lipid related topics. A highlight was the hot topic symposium on the new olive oil standard being introduced in Australia. Paul Miller, Australian Olives Association, gave a compelling address on why the standard was needed. He demonstrated that the increase in price and demand for high quality olive oils has led to products falsely or misleadingly labelled. Furthermore, the genetic and seasonal variation in minor components of olive oil has led to misclassifications. An extensive scientific and political process in Australia and overseas led to development of this new standard. Dr. Leandro Ravetti, Mordern Olives, demonstrated the development of two new methods, for analysis of pyropheophytins and diacylglycerols, are good indicators of modification by deodorisation of oils and show excellent correlation with organoleptic assessment with aging/degradation of extra virgin olive oils. Professor Rod Mailer finished this session with studies of actual adulteration cases in Australia and overseas, further highlighting the need for this new standard.
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AAOCS
Proceedings of the 2013 Meeting of the Australasian Section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS)
Nutrients 2013, 5(12), 5065-5096; doi:10.3390/nu5125065
The Australasian section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS) held their biennial meeting in Newcastle, Australia from 6 to 8 November, 2013. Over 150 scientists, researchers and industry representatives gathered for three days of talks and discussions on a variety of lipid related topics. The AAOCS awarded its inaugural AAOCS Award for Scientific Excellence in Lipid Research to Dr Allan Green from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Dr Green is deputy chief of the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry and has been active in lipid research for several decades. His main research focus is on plant breeding and genetic engineering techniques to develop improved oilseeds with enhanced human nutritional value and novel industrial uses. Refer to “AAOCS Award for Scientific Excellence in Lipid Research” for more detail of his contributions [1]
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"Vitamin D and Human Health: from the Gamete to the Grave": Report on a meeting held at Queen Mary University of London, 23rd–25th April 2014
Nutrients 2014, 6(7), 2759-2919; doi:10.3390/nu6072759
The inaugural Vitamin D and Human Health conference was held on the London Whitechapel campus of Queen Mary University’s Barts and The London Medical School, from the 23rd to 25th of April, 2014. This three-day meeting set out to achieve two main aims: to create a forum for researchers to meet and forge new collaborations, and to provide a state-of-the-art overview of the latest findings from clinical research in the field of vitamin D. Over 300 clinical researchers, students and commercial representatives attended. Thirty international experts in the field of clinical vitamin D research presented talks organised into a programme spanning the human life course. Commencing with a session of talks providing overviews of randomised trials of supplementation and global vitamin D status, the meeting proceeded with a session on pre-birth related vitamin D research—evolution, genetics & fertility—which led into several talks in the area of child health. Sessions on respiratory health, immune function, cancer biology, and neurodegenerative diseases preceded an overview of research in the area of ageing-related health outcomes, including musculoskeletal health and metabolic diseases. Finally sessions on the economy of vitamin D and public health, along with future directions for research were held. Several themes emerged during the course of the meeting. The anticipation of results from very large (n > 5000) randomised controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation (“mega-trials”) and Individual Patient Data (IPD) meta-analyses were hot topics of discussion. Mega-trials have the potential to detect small effect sizes of vitamin D supplementation on end-points such as incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. IPD meta-analyses have the potential to investigate the causes of heterogeneity often seen in the results of individual primary trials by allowing clinically important subgroup effects of vitamin D supplementation to be elucidated. The existence of a U-shaped relationship between vitamin D status and risk of certain health outcomes was another area of discussion. A third emerging theme, also relating to vitamin D dose–response relationships, was the potential differential effect of daily vs. intermittent bolus dosing on biological outcomes. Finally, the meeting also addressed strategies to tackle vitamin D deficiency at the population level, by alteration of sun-seeking behaviour, use of nutritional supplements and food fortification. The following 156 abstracts featured in the meeting as either a poster or an oral presentation.
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