This year’s Micronutrient Forum Global Conference will focus on the role of women’s nutrition in helping deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an initiative which aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Investing in high-quality nutrition is proven to provide the highest return on investment on the development agenda. For example, a study in Guatemala found that children who received bundled nutrition interventions were, as adults, smarter, stayed in school longer and earned more money. This places nutrition at the centre of the SDGs.
“Women are the doorway to shaping healthier futures across the globe. Children who get the right nutrition from a very young age are 10 times more likely to overcome life-threatening childhood diseases. As such, it is essential that mothers and their children have access to the right nutrition during this time, especially in the critical 1,000-day window between the start of a pregnancy and a child’s second birthday,” explained Mauricio Adade, president of DSM Nutritional Products, Latin America.
“The quality of nutrition and clean, safe water, sanitation and hygiene are all essential variables to ensuring micronutrient interventions have a positive impact on children’s development. Collaboration at all levels is therefore needed to meet the UN’s SDGs and effectively tackle the hidden hunger that impacts one-third of the global population. The Micronutrient Forum Global Conference is playing a huge role in addressing key issues such as improving hygiene practices and bringing high-quality nutrition to the most vulnerable groups.”
Across the six-day conference, DSM will be presenting a number of symposia on nutrition programs that build on the importance of ensuring high-quality nutrition in women and children:
- Héctor Cori, nutritional science director, Latin America, addresses the importance of quality in micronutrient interventions in ‘Quality, a critical driver for the effectiveness of nutrition programmes’ during the ‘The responsibility of industry in public health nutrition’ symposium on Oct. 23, 10:30 am-12:00 pm CT. In this opening day event, and also throughout the conference, the concept of ‘nutrient density’ will be discussed. The development of foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients is imperative to move on from a world where obesity and malnutrition coexist.
- Mauricio Adade, president of DSM Nutritional Products, Latin America, will be discussing how broad, multi-stakeholder partnerships that combine the private and public sectors are key to eliminate hidden hunger. The symposium ‘Country ownership and leadership in working with multiple actors to promote policies, enable innovation and fund effective national micronutrient strategies’ will take place on Oct. 25, 2:00 pm-3:30pm CT.
- Manfred Eggersdorfer, professor for healthy ageing, University of Groningen and senior vice president, Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM joins Tufts University to host the symposium ‘Hidden hunger in older adults: an urgent, yet preventable, global health and economic problem’ on Oct. 27, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm. The panel will discuss the global issue of hidden hunger, which affects people of all ages living in both high and low income countries, alongside the long-term benefits offered by micronutrients and the role women play in ensuring good nutrition throughout life. Such topics are also explored in the new publication, ‘Good Nutrition: Perspectives for the 21st Century’, which is being launched to coincide with the Micronutrient Forum Global Conference.
- Anthony Hehir, nutrition improvement program director, will be taking part in the panel discussion ‘Bridging discovery and delivery: future directions for the Micronutrient Forum’ on Oct. 28, 2:00 pm-3:30pm. The session will invite panel members to discuss ways in which the Micronutrient Forum can strengthen its mission to bridge scientific discovery and program delivery for micronutrients across multiple sectors in the future.