Nutrition Conference


The conference will present recent ‘hot topic’ research from three stages of the life cycle, where dairy makes a real difference to nutrition and health. The conference will conclude with a leader’s forum on big picture issues around sustainable development goals and global malnutrition.

Session 1: Growth and Development

  1. Professor Margaret Rayman: The role of dairy in the intake of Iodine

Nutrition survey data from the UK indicates that 26% of girls aged 11 to 18 and 11% of women aged 19 to 64 have iodine intakes below recommendations. The WHO has defined the problem as ‘mild-to-moderate’ in the UK]. Mild-to-moderate deficiency in pregnancy is associated with reduced cognitive scores among children and in pregnancy the strongest dietary predictor of iodine status is milk consumption. Milk and dairy foods are the greatest contributor of iodine to the UK diet. Professor Margaret Rayman will explain the importance of milk and dairy play in providing this often over-looked nutrient, particularly during pregnancy.

  1. Dr Seppo Salminen: Dairy and gut immune development

In recent years, there has been great interest in both the role of the gut microflora in moderating non-communicable chronic disease risk, and the role of maternal factors in setting a trajectory for life-long health of the foetus. In this session, Dr Seppo Salminen will discuss the role of maternal probiotic in optimising life-long health of the offspring.

  1. Dr David Luyt: Advances in the management of Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy

Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) affects about 0.4% to 2% of infants, and about 85% are in remission by the age of 3 years. However, there are nutritional implications of strict dietary elimination of cow’s milk protein. The management of CMPA is, however, no longer considered ‘open-shut’, and Dr David Luyt will address specific oral tolerance induction – the deliberate controlled exposure of patients to extremely low but progressively increasing doses of cow’s milk protein over a period of weeks or months. The aim is to reduce the immunological sensitivity so that patients can safely consume foods containing cow’s milk protein.

Session 2: Child Health and Development

  1. Maryanne Smith-Edge: Teenage diets and dairy consumption

In the UK, about 1 in 5 adolescent girls have intakes of calcium, iodine and riboflavin (Vitamin B2) below dietary recommendations, and the picture is similar internationally. Milk and dairy products are the greatest contributor of these micronutrients to the UK diet. Maryanne Smith-Edge will overview the importance of milk and dairy in the teenage diets and the health implications of teens turning away from dairy.

  1. Dr Moshe Mishali: Challenges of consumer behaviour

The reasons why teenagers turn away from dairy appear complex to understand, and even more complex to address. Dr Mishali’s research tries to better understand the nature of resistance to milk consumption and the mind of the consumer, and he will present a six-stage model for enhancing compliance to milk and dairy recommendations.

Session 3: Healthy Ageing

  1. Dr Anthony Fardet: Dairy and cardiometabolic disease

Milk and dairy products, largely on the basis of saturated fat, are often targeted in campaigns against non-communicable chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes (often coined ‘cardiometabolic disease’). However, evidence from very large, statistically powerful cohort studies consistently shows neutral or protective associations between the consumption of milk and dairy and cardiometabolic disease. Dr Anthony Fardet will provide a detailed overview of this evidence.

  1. Dr Constance Boyet: Dairy and cognitive function

The population of the UK is growing and ageing, and nutritional science has shifted in recent years towards understanding the role of food in promoting cognitive function and preventing age-related cognitive decline. Dr Constance Boyet will overview the growing evidence-base on milk and dairy consumption and cognitive function.

  1. Professor Sandra Iuliano: Dairy and healthy ageing of muscle and bone

Nutrients from milk and dairy, including calcium, essential amino acids and proteins, have a strong and clear role in the healthy ageing of muscle and bone. Long-term consumption of milk and dairy products may have a role in reducing age-related loss of muscle mass and function (‘sarcopenia’) and reducing the risk of fractures and frailty in older people. Professor Sandra Iuliano will overview the evidence supporting the role of milk and dairy, and constituent nutrients, in this important session.

Session 4: Leader’s Forum

Dairy as an industry and as a source of nutrition is intrinsically linked to The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Nutrition Leader’s Forum will address how we can make a difference with dairy towards good health and wellbeing for all ages, and the immense challenge of achieving ‘zero hunger’ across the globe.

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