Leading experts discussed nut consumption and the prevention of prevalent diseases/conditions

Earlier this month, the INC sponsored a symposium entitled “Nut Consumption and the Prevention of Prevalent Diseases/Conditions” as part of the 14th Asian Congress of Nutrition (ACN).

Held in a different Asian city every four years, the ACN is organized by the Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies (FANS) and is one of the region’s most important gatherings of nutrition experts. With a congress theme of “Feeding the Future by Sustainable Nutrition,” this year’s event took place in Chengdu, China, from September 14-17.

The quality of the talks was outstanding and the INC symposium was well-attended by nutritionists and health professionals. The session was chaired by Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, and the invited speakers were Prof. Gang Liu from the School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, China); Dr. Changzheng Yuan from the School of Public Health, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine (Hangzhou, China); and Prof. Anoop Misra from the Fortis C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology (New Delhi, India).

Prof. Gang Liu, whose research focuses on diet/lifestyle, metabolic and genetic factors in relation to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, gave a presentation entitled “Nut Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease,” in which he delved into the body of research showing that frequent nut consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and death. Dr. Changzheng Yuan, whose research includes validation studies of dietary assessment methods and population-based studies of dietary determinants in relation to age-related cognitive decline, delivered a talk entitled “Nuts, Cognitive Performance and Impairment,” on the research supporting the role of nut-containing diets in preserving cognitive function. The last presentation, entitled “Nuts and Diabetes,” was given by Prof. Anoop Misra, who is among the top 2% of diabetes research scientists in India, according to Stanford University. Prof. Misra’s wide-ranging experience includes leading the development of countrywide consensus guidelines for obesity, metabolic syndrome, physical activity, nutrition and management of diabetes for Asian Indians.

After the symposium, the INC took part in the 9.17 China Nuts Health Week. Organized by the Specialized Committee for Nuts and Dried Fruits of the China National Food Industry Association, this important event brought together a total of 800 people in Chengdu. On September 17, INC Chairman Michael Waring delivered a video address in which he underscored the importance of daily nut intake for the global population.

A highlight of the event was the official release of the Chinese Nutrition Society’s White Paper on Nuts Intake Nutrition and Health in China. This eagerly anticipated document, representing the official stance of China’s community of nutrition experts, provided recommendations on nut consumption and outlined measures to improve nut intake among the Chinese population. In the White Paper, the Chinese Nutrition Society recommended a minimum daily nut intake to 25 g/day, up from its previous recommendation of 10 g/day. This guidance was in keeping with a key idea expressed repeatedly throughout the event: A handful of nuts a day keeps the doctor away.

Given that the average nut consumption is China is 3.6 g/day —well below the recommended daily minimum— it was no surprise that the need to promote consumption was another key idea voiced time and time again throughout the 9.17 China Nuts Health Week. Speakers shared figures pointing to positive developments on this front, including the fact that production in China is expect to increase in the coming years. In other good news, speakers reported that nut consumption has increased significantly among the Chinese middle class in recent years, and that low additive content has gained traction as a key characteristic among consumers in recent years.

Audience members at the INC symposium, 14th Asian Congress of Nutrition.
L-R: Prof. Gang Liu, Prof. Anoop Misra, Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Dr. Changzheng Yuan. INC symposium, 14th Asian Congress of Nutrition.
9.17 China Nuts Health Week.
Official release of the Chinese Nutrition Society’s White Paper on Nuts Intake Nutrition and Health in China.
Group photo with the organizers of the 9.17 China Nuts Health Week.


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