IUNS is now on LinkedIn

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our official LinkedIn page! This platform will serve as a hub for promoting the advancement of nutrition science, research, and development through international cooperation at the global level. Our goal is to foster communication and collaboration among nutrition scientists while disseminating cutting-edge information in nutritional sciences through modern communication technology.

At our core, we believe in the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing to drive progress in the field of nutrition. By connecting with us on LinkedIn, you’ll gain more access to a wealth of resources, insights, and opportunities to engage with like-minded professionals and our members.

Here is what you can gain from following us on LinkedIn:

  • Insightful Content: We’ll share the latest news of the IUNS and nutrition science articles or studies to keep you informed and inspired.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect and exchange ideas with fellow nutrition scientists, researchers, practitioners, and enthusiasts for potential collaborations.
  • Events and Webinars: Be the first to know about upcoming events, conferences, webinars, awards/grants, and other opportunities related to nutrition science. Whether it’s a virtual symposium or our renowned International Congress of Nutrition (ICN), you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge and network.
  • Community Engagement: Engage with our community by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and expertise. We welcome collaborations that contribute to the collective knowledge base of nutrition science.

Together, let’s make a difference in the world of nutrition! Join us on LinkedIn today and let us embark on this journey of exploration, innovation, and collaboration in nutrition science!

Follow us on LinkedIn here.

Reflecting on a Successful Council Meeting: Moving Forward with Optimism

We are delighted to share with you the highlights from our recent Council meeting held on 29 February and 1 March 2024 in London. It was an enriching gathering where our Council members and the Secretariat came together to discuss vital topics and chart a course for the IUNS and our members’ future.

During the meeting, we engaged in fruitful discussions on a range of topics, and some of them were:

IUNS-ICN in Paris 2025
Our upcoming ICN is fast approaching. It is going to happen in Paris from Sunday 24 August to Friday 29 August 2025 and the main theme is “Sustainable Food for Global Health”. You can find out more information about it at this website: https://www.icn2025.org.

Shortlisting of IUNS-ICN 2029 Bids
While we are anticipating the IUNS-ICN in Paris next year, we are already on our way to preparing for the IUNS-ICN 2029. We received a good number of letters of intent and all of them are very attractive. We cannot wait to announce the shortlisted bids soon and let you vote for the next host of this global prestigious event at our General Assembly in Paris.

Membership Survey Results
We would like to thank all our Adhering Bodies who have participated in our membership survey. Your input, ideas, and participation are invaluable as we work towards building a better IUNS for all. We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening communication and collaboration internationally. Through various future outreach programmes and events, we aim to cultivate more bonds and engagements and empower every member of the IUNS.

Task Force on Private Sector Engagement
IUNS is deeply committed to in-person scientific meetings as a critical component to meet our aims for knowledge and evidence sharing, networking and capacity development in the nutrition community.  IUNS has formed a new task force to address the role of private sector sponsorship as part of sustainable financial models for such meetings. The aim of the task force is to develop a set of evidence-informed, feasible, replicable criteria to screen private sector companies as eligible to provide financial sponsorship for IUNS-ICN, and to provide suggestions for financing IUNS-ICN from diverse sources.  Building on the IUNS Private Sector Engagement Policy published in 2021, the updated guidance will be used by the organizers of IUNS-ICN Paris 2025. The seven-member task force comprises participants from diverse world regions and holds diverse perspectives related to private sector engagement.  The latter was purposeful to ensure that the diverse perspectives of our IUNS constituents in this regard are represented. The TF is working on a report of their activities that will be shared with adhering bodies for comment in the coming months.

Looking Forward to Continued and Deeper Engagement with IUNS
As we reflect on the outcomes of our Council meeting, there is much to look forward to in the days ahead. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and the positive impact we can collectively achieve. Together, we have the power to promote advancement in nutrition science, research, and development through international cooperation at the global level. We invite you to join us on this journey of progress and transformation to create a more engaging IUNS community and tackle nutrition challenges together.

Stay connected on our upcoming initiatives and events and let us continue to work together to make our world the healthiest it can be.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February 2024

Are cultural norms the main reason for the underrepresentation of African women in science? The NSTF marks International Day of Women and Girls by considering how women are underrepresented in science and technology, wondering about the reasons for this, and celebrating three phenomenal women in science who are current NSTF-South32 Award winners.
 
International Day of Women and Girls in Science: In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution recognising the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. The UNGA declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to promote participation in science and equal access to it.  It should help to dissipate the narrow and singular approach to science, technology and innovation as the preserves of men alone.

Gender equality and transformation are at the heart of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF). The NSTF’s vision includes the ideal that professionals in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation should represent the demographics of the general population of South Africa (SA).

Gender disparities in STEM: breaking barriers and building equity: The 2021 United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Report: Chapter 3:  Women and the digital revolution chapter, states that

  • Women make up 33.3% of all researchers in 107 countries around the world in 2018.
  • Women remain in the minority in certain fields: engineering, mathematics, physics and digital information technologies.
  • They account for only 22% of researchers in artificial intelligence.
  • Women are less likely to receive research funding and less likely to become promoted and hold leadership roles in research.

The World Economic Forum recently stated that in 2023:

  • In technology globally, women comprise about 24% of leadership roles
  • and less than 30% of science researchers worldwide are women.

The situation is unfortunately similar in sub-Saharan Africa, where female researchers only make up 30% of the total. Professors Ayotola Aremu and Adefunke Enike, authors of the book Making the Future of African STEM female, expressed how, for many African women the root cause of this underrepresentation of women in STEM is systemic gender bias. Boys and girls are generally raised differently in African households: boys are steered towards mechanics and engineering and the girls are pushed towards domestic activities. The girls are encouraged to conform to the traditional role of being mother and wife, perpetuating the misconception that ‘science is a man’s playground’.

Female role models can mend the leaky pipeline in STEM studies: Many girls choose to learn STEM subjects in school and later enrol in STEM fields at universities, but later become deterred along the way. The UNESCO Report says that women globally have reached parity at Master’s degree level (representing 45-55% of the cohort) but that there is a bottleneck at that point in their careers.  

Many women do not get as far as that. This is especially true in the case of young black women. Because there is too little representation at that level, young women and girls do not have enough role models who look like them and share their same experiences, to inspire and guide them. An important aspect for girls to gain opportunities and feel they can pursue further education and a career in science, is having female role models, who can share their successful experiences and endeavours. Having someone they can look up to can spark an interest and break down barriers for them.

The NSTF developed the Motivational Talks Programme where role models are invited to address the first-year students of the NSTF Brilliants Programme (for top achievers in physical science and mathematics), to inspire them and give them advice about careers, studies and personal development. Students often find it difficult to navigate through the transition from high school to tertiary level studies. On 11 September 2023, the NSTF  hosted the annual Motivational Talks Programme online, this time with the 2023 NSTF-South32 Award winners, to engage with the year’s group of Brilliants students. The talks featured no less than three esteemed women of colour, who had recently been crowned as NSTF-South32 Award winners, namely:  Prof Salome Maswime (Clinician scientist – obstetrician and gynaecologist), Prof Usisipho Feleni (Electrochemist) and Prof Nosipho Mloto (Energy materials scientist and inorganic chemistry Research Professor).

The esteemed and inspirational female NSTF-South32 Award winners: These ground-breaking Professors come from humble beginnings and overcame all the odds that were stacked against them and persevered to attain success in their STEM careers. They continue to inspire young women, garnering more accolades to break the ceiling of gender disparity and discrimination in science.

Prof Usisipho Feleni, Associate Professor and thematic leader in the Applied Electrochemistry Institute for Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability: University of South Africa (UNISA) is a winner of the 2023 NSTF-South32 TW-Kambule Emerging Researcher Award. From humble beginnings in a small village in the Eastern Cape, she was driven by a need to help combat high numbers of deaths from HIV/AIDS. She ventured into the study of electrochemical biosensors that monitor the workings of Anti-Retro Viral (ARV) drugs, synthesisation of nanoscience and nanotechnology. She went on to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship and became an industry professional and mentor, enriching young minds as a full Professor at UNISA from 2018. Prof Feleni spoke to students about being proactive in research, and collaborating with others, as well as the importance of “raising your hands early” to make use of the available opportunities.

Prof Salome Maswime is an obstetrician and gynaecologist (OB/GYN), a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and head of the Global Surgery Division: Wits University. She won the first NSTF-SAMRC Clinician-Scientist Award in 2023. From humble beginnings in Polokwane, Limpopo, she went on to do her post graduate studies in gynaecology at Wits and then continued to PhD studies through the clinician scientist programme sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. She also got an opportunity to do her postdoctoral studies at Harvard University and was able to directly collaborate as a sitting member of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). She is now a Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT), a position she attained at the age of 39. She advised the Brilliants students to try to overcome the loneliness of success and the imposter syndrome. She urged them to remain grounded saying, “You need to be real, you need to be you, you need to be authentic.” She concluded by emphasising that a successful career is a complex interplay of personality, character, excellence, serendipity, relationships, resilience, and reputation.

Prof Nosipho Moloto from Kwa-Mashu township in Durban is a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Wits, where she holds the NEDBANK-DSI SARChI Chair in Energy Materials and she is a 2023 Engineering Research Capacity Development Award winner. She tells the story of how she had to overcome culture shock and imposter syndrome when she went to study at the University of Zululand. There she later learned to appreciate difference and diversity, and how to believe in herself. She was introduced to nanoscience at this point and later got an opportunity to study at the University of Manchester. She was able to publish four papers while doing her Master’s degree and she got to work with the Centre for Nanotechnology Materials at the CSIR (South Africa). She also got to do her postdoctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She urged the Brilliants students to put themselves out there, saying: “If you strive for success, you attract success.” It is important for young women to have role models they can relate to, to help them realise their capabilities and believe in themselves.

In the current era, often called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)’, it is more important than ever that girls and women should not be excluded.  The World Economic Forum’s 2022 Job Report projected that there will be a loss of 4.7 million white collar jobs such as clerical duties and administrative work, which are predominantly held by women. Increased women’s participation in STEM studies and careers is essential. Making a concerted effort to Include girls in the STEM subjects, as well as creating role model programmes and mentorship would help to achieve this necessary goal.

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IAEA Newsletter

The latest newsletter from Nutritional and Health- related Environmental Studies team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is available.

In this issue:

New UN-Nutrition chair, Najat Mokhtar. Photo by IAEA
  • IAEA Deputy Director General Najat Mokhtar appointed Chair of UN-Nutrition.
  • October meeting recordings on nuclear techniques for nutrition available.
  • Call for IAEA Body Composition Database Management Group members.
  • Updates on TC Programme Cycle and new Master of Nutrition and Nuclear Techniques.
  • Share nuclear technique study photos or videos.
  • Publications, success stories and more.
Read more here

EIT Food Announces Sponsorship of Year-long Online Course on Nutrition for Health and Sustainability

EIT Food, a leading European initiative that focuses on innovating the food system, has unveiled its latest endeavour to promote health and sustainability. The organisation is set to sponsor a comprehensive online course titled “Nutrition for Health and Sustainability,” which will be available for an entire year starting from September 4th.

In a world where the significance of nutrition is becoming increasingly apparent, EIT Food’s initiative comes as a timely and impactful contribution. The free online course is tailored to equip participants with essential insights into crafting a nutritious diet, thereby empowering them to safeguard against diseases and enhance overall well-being. By exploring the intricate relationship between food, nutrition, diets, and sustainability, participants will gain the tools to assess human health across various life stages more effectively.

The course, aptly named “Nutrition for Health and Sustainability,” comprises three modules of comprehensive learning, spread over a total of 12 hours. These modules will delve into the core aspects of nutrition, enlightening participants on the components of a wholesome diet and highlighting the pivotal role played by specific foods in maintaining health and preventing diseases.

One of the distinctive features of this program is its emphasis on the interplay between nutrition and sustainability. As the world grapples with ecological challenges, understanding how dietary choices impact both personal health and the environment is of paramount importance. EIT Food’s course bridges this gap by fostering awareness of the broader implications of our food choices.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a coveted Learning Certificate, a testament to their dedication to staying abreast of the latest advancements and best practices in the dynamic agrifood sector. This certificate not only showcases their commitment but also underscores their role as informed contributors to a sustainable food future.

As the curtains rise on this transformative course, EIT Food stands at the forefront of championing a healthier and more sustainable world through knowledge, awareness, and education.

Additional information can be located in the document below.

Pause briefly to explore the course through its trailer.

Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity – register through the link below.

Course Registration

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON DIETARY PROTEIN FOR HUMAN HEALTH

International Symposium on Dietary Protein for Human Health to Convene in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Utrecht, The Netherlands – Registration and Abstract Submission Now Open for the Symposium Scheduled for 14 – 16 September 2023

Scientists, researchers, and experts in the field of nutrition are invited to attend the highly anticipated International Symposium: Dietary Protein for Human Health in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), two prominent universities, and in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the three-day event aims to shed light on the vital role of protein in human nutrition, health, and overall well-being.

The Symposium will encompass a diverse range of topics, including protein nutrition and its implications for health, amino acid requirements, digestibility, and availability. Distinguished researchers from around the world will deliver presentations and engage in discussions on dietary protein quality, assessing its influence on growth, development, and whole-body protein metabolism. Additionally, the event will explore the future sustainability of protein sources and their impact on global food security.

Building upon the success of the previous summit held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2011, this Symposium promises to be a landmark event, attracting international leaders in protein nutrition and related fields. It will serve as an authoritative platform, providing an update on the latest scientific advancements that hold critical importance for human welfare and sustainable food practices.

Prospective attendees are encouraged to register for the Symposium and submit their abstracts to share their groundbreaking research and insights with the global scientific community. The event offers a unique opportunity for networking, collaboration, and gaining knowledge from leading experts in the field.

Don’t miss this chance to contribute to the advancement of dietary protein research and its impact on human health and food security. Secure your place at the International Symposium: Dietary Protein for Human Health and join the quest for a healthier and sustainable future

For registration and abstract submission, please visit the official Symposium website.

Giract European PhD in Flavor Research Awards – 14th Edition

Applications deadline: 31st October 2023
Promoting Flavor Research amongst PhD Students in Europe

Giract is proud to announce that, following the success of its unique and innovative programme to promote flavor research amongst PhD students in Europe across various universities and institutes, 9 industry sponsors will continue to support the programme, now in its 14th year. This consortium aims to raise awareness of the industry and career opportunities in order to increase the flavor research talent pool in Europe. The 8 sponsoring companies are:

  • AJINOMOTO
  • ANGEL YEAST
  • DSM-FIRMENICH
  • GIVAUDAN
  • KERRY
  • LALLEMAND BIO-INGREDIENTS
  • LESAFFRE INTERNATIONAL
  • PEPSICO

This 14th edition is organised by Giract, in coordination with Andrea Cattaruzza, Director of AndCat Ltd and Professor Emeritus Andy Taylor of the University of Nottingham, UK.

Purpose

To promote innovative flavor research amongst PhD students across European universities and research institutes. PhD students enrolled in universities and research institutes in 35 European countries (European Union, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and UK) are eligible to apply.

The project targets two different groups of PhD students:

  • Group 1: students who are about to complete their PhD.
  • Group 2: students who are about to commence their PhD studies and hence will soon be examining opportunities for employment.

This is translated into the following sub-objectives:
Publicise the attractions of flavor research so as to pull high calibre students into appropriate PhD courses and then into industry.


For Group 1:

  • Award bursaries to 6 selected students who are planning to commence their PhD studies in flavor science during the 2023/2024 academic year.
  • Enable the 6 winning 1st year PhD students the opportunity of visiting the laboratory of certain sponsor companies during the second year of their PhD studies, by using a part of their winning bursary amount for their travel and stay. This will enable them to obtain a first-hand view of an industry R&D centre
  • Application deadline is on October 31, 2023.

For Group 2:

  • Solicit and evaluate innovative flavor research projects amongst these students.
  • Provide the Annual Savory Flavor & Food Industry Conference, held in Geneva in the spring of each year, as a platform for the winning student to present his/her work to ‘potential employers’.

For more information and application forms please visit: https://giract.com/flavor-research-programme.php

A new survey by British Nutrition Foundation about healthy ultra-processed foods


A recent survey by the British Nutrition Foundation reveals an increasing concern about ultra-processed foods. However, the survey also highlights that certain ultra-processed foods can be part of a balanced diet and offer convenience to busy individuals. The term “ultra-processed foods” refers to industrially processed foods containing additives. While sugary drinks, pastries, and takeaway items fall into this category, foods like wholemeal bread, breakfast cereals, baked beans, pasta sauces, and fruit yogurts are also classified as ultra-processed. These foods provide essential nutrients and can be an affordable and quick option for a balanced meal. The survey shows that people often associate ready meals, vegetarian meat alternatives, and packaged breakfast cereals with ultra-processed foods. However, fewer respondents classified items like baked beans, low-fat fruit yogurts, ice cream, and sliced bread as ultra-processed. The survey suggests that while cooking from scratch is ideal, incorporating healthier processed foods can make healthy eating more accessible and convenient. The study emphasizes the need to make healthy eating affordable and easier for everyone.

There is a published paper in Nutrition Bulletin, entitled How do we differentiate not demonise – Is there a role for healthier processed foods in an age of food insecurity? Proceedings of a roundtable event.

This is accompanied by an editorial by Professor Ciaran Forde Processing the evidence to evaluate mechanisms, costs and future solutions.

In addition, the British Nutrition Foundation published its Position statement on the concept of UPF on its website, along with an accompanying press release.

FENS issues guidance for writing and reviewing press releases

The Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) has issued guidance for writing and reviewing press releases. It is now available and an article about the guidelines has been published in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Having identified issues with the credibility and capability of human nutrition research, the FENS President is currently sponsoring an activity aimed at improving standards and assuring trust in the science of nutrition. This activity involves three working groups looking into concepts and methodologies; organisation, capabilities and funding; and external communication and public trust. Working Group 3, which is composed of 20 nutrition scientists from across Europe, has been charged with developing guidance to assure and promote stakeholder trust in nutrition science. The apparent lack of a standardised approach to disseminating nutrition research findings to key stakeholders such as clinicians and the general public has potentially contributed to a feeling of confusion and mistrust, thereby undermining the credibility of the science of nutrition. The Working Group identified a need to develop guidance for the communication of the findings of research in nutrition science to the public with a focus on accuracy of what is reported and on the language used.

The Working Group developed a handbook to support and guide nutrition scientists in improving the quality and clarity of press releases related to their work by detailing step-by-step guidance for writing and reviewing press releases.

There are also easy-to-use checklists for writing and reviewing a press release and a template for scoring a press release.

The handbook is free and available to download from the FENS website.

The FENS Working Groups will be holding symposia on this research during the 14th European Nutrition Conference in Belgrade, Serbia from 14 – 17 November 2023. Abstract submission is still open until 30 April 2023. Visit fens2023.org to submit an abstract or to register for the conference.

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IAEA: eNewsletter The Nutritional & Health-related Environmental Studies Section

Our colleagues at IAEA are excited to share their latest eNewsletter, including the launch of the UN Nutrition Strategy 2022- 2030. Stineke Oenema, Executive Secretary of UN-Nutrition, editor-in-chief of the strategy also co-chairs the IUNS Task Force on Sustainable Diets.

Also in this issue:

  • Proposition to create an online stable isotope user group
  • Special collection “Nuclear Techniques in Nutrition Research” in the Journal of Nutrition
  • Apply to the IAEA PhD Sandwich Fellowship Programme
  • Nuclear Explained – IAEA’s Podcast
  • Nuclear Data Reveals How Much Water You Should Drink Daily
  • Relation between breast milk intake and maternal education
  • Inaugural issue of the UN Nutrition Journal

Read more