ILSI Southeast Asia Region Newsletter - International Life Sciences ...

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ILSI Southeast Asia Region Newsletter - International Life Sciences ...

NEWSLETTERAugust 2010PPN 332494/00166 MITA (P) NO. 104/11/2008GlobalExperiencesin ReducingObesity inCommunitiesExploring Gene,Diet and LifestyleConnectionsbetween Brainand Gut HealthSettingFood SafetyStandards:ILSI SEA RegionFacilitiates Trainingin VietnamSaturatedand Trans Fat:Current Status inAustraliaHealthyEating &Active Living


FROM ILSI SEA REGIONMESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORILSI SEA Region first embarked on addressing the issue of obesity in 1992 through a seriesof seminars, workshops and studies in a number of Southeast Asian countries, culminatingin the development in 2000 of PowerKids, an interactive educational resource forprimary level students in Singapore. PowerKids includes modules on physical activity- PowerKids On the Go, as well as nutrition - PowerKids Eat Smart. Developed incollaboration with the Singapore Ministry of Education, PowerKids is available for allprimary schools in Singapore, and has also been pilot-tested in Thailand and Indonesia. Inreviewing the current status of obesity in the region, and how ILSI SEA Region can continueto contribute to this public health issue, two important meetings were organized in July2010 and held in Singapore and Australia. Experts in obesity prevention from the Americas,Europe and Australasia were invited to share their experiences in building community-basedintervention programs that have had positive impact on preventing or reducing obesity,and in promoting healthy eating and active living. Learning from these global approaches,ILSI SEA region will explore opportunities to expand our obesity prevention programs andestablish new partnerships.Another important focus for us this year is the topic of cognitive development andperformance. With increased longevity among populations in Asia, there is growing interestin scientific research on cognitive development, function and performance throughout thelifespan. ILSI SEA Region is providing a platform for scientists from academia and industry toexchange state-of-the-art scientific knowledge in this field. In April, we organized a ScienceSymposium on “Optimizing Brain and Gut Health” in conjunction with our Annual Meeting2010. We are also excited to be organizing a symposium on “Nutrition and Cognition”in October, where scientists and experts will explore the role of nutrition in cognitivedevelopment, share on current assessment methodologies and their applicability fordifferent population groups, as well as consider the scientific substantiation and consumerunderstanding of claims.This issue of our Newsletter provides a comprehensive summary of our meetings andactivities thus far in 2010. We look forward to facilitating, and welcome your participationin our upcoming activities for the rest of the year!Boon Yee YeongExecutive DirectorILSI Southeast Asia RegionILSI SEA REGION GOVERNANCE & LEADERSHIP 2010 - 2011Executive Committee of theBoard of DirectorsPresidentVice PresidentCo-Vice President andHonorary TreasurerHonorary SecretaryMember-at-LargeMember-at-LargeMember-at-LargeMember-at-LargeMr Geoffry SmithDr Sushila ChangDr Roger BektashDr Hataya KongchuntukDr Soh Ha ChanDr Elias EscuetaMr John NielsonDr E Siong TeeOther Members of theBoard of DirectorsDr Seiji AoyagiDr Corazon BarbaDr Sakarindr BhumiratanaDr Harvey GlickDr Masanori KohmuraDr Widjaja LukitoDr Andrew SinclairDr Aman WirakartakusumahExecutive DirectorMrs Boon Yee YeongDirector of Scientific ProgramsMs Pauline Chan2INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


FEATURESILSI Annual Meeting 2010ILSI Branches Share Past Achievements and Plan Future CollaborationsILSI SEA Region Branch MeetingHeld on January 22-27, 2010, at Rio Mar Beach Resort andSpa, Puerto Rico, the ILSI Annual Meeting 2010 broughttogether members, trustees, scientific advisors, and stafffrom ILSI branches around the world. The meetingsorganized by various ILSI branches provided updates onrecent and upcoming programs as well as discussion onnew scientific challenges and emerging opportunities forILSI to make a difference in public health.The ILSI Branches Meeting on Friday, January 22, 2010,helped to build relationships and collaboration amongthe branch staff members. Water issues, nanotechnology,and obesity prevention were some of the global issueshighlighted for future collaborations. The meeting alsoshared the new membership categories and the use of thenew ILSI website and the ILSI journal Nutrition Reviews asresources for promoting ILSI. The proposed 2010-2014 ILSIStrategic Plan was also discussed in detail.ILSI Japan, ILSI CHP Japan, ILSI Korea, ILSI Focal Point inChina, ILSI India, and ILSI SEA Region came together forthe ILSI Asian Branches Meeting on Saturday, January23, 2010. Dr Myeong Ae Yu of ILSI Korea highlighted theILSI Asian branches’ past achievements, future programs,and emerging issues. The meeting also addressed variouskey collaborations in the Asian region. Mr Hiroaki Hamanoof ILSI Japan elaborated on the progress of the project onInvestigation of Commodity Food Standards in Asia. Themicronutrient fortification programs in Asia were shared byMr Geoffry Smith of ILSI SEA Region and Mr Takashi Togamiof ILSI CHP Japan. Mrs Boon Yee Yeong of ILSI SEA Regionshared on the role of ILSI in the APEC Partnership TrainingInstitute Network initiatives while Dr Junshi Chen of ILSIFocal Point in China updated on various obesity preventionprograms by ILSI Asian branches.and scientific program planned for 2010 and 2011. Themeeting also covered current issues in the Southeast Asiaregion – Dr Mathew Lau, a scientific advisor of ILSI SEARegion, outlined challenges and opportunities surroundingfood safety issue in the region while Mr Geoffry Smith, ILSISEA region President, shared on past and future measuresin tackling micronutrient deficiencies. The discussionsession was focused on potential area for ILSI SEA Regionto take on in 2010. Some of the areas suggested includednutrigenomics application for salt sensitivity, vitamin Dstatus in Asia, and food composition database.ILSI Europe – ILSI SEA Region Lunch Meeting was held onTuesday, January 26, 2010. Information on the activities ofboth branches was exchanged with discussion on potentialcollaboration in various areas such as ILSI Global Project onWater, micronutrient intake requirement, food-based dietaryguidelines, scientific substantiation of nutrition and healthclaims, as well as nutrition and cognition area.ILSI Branches’ posters were displayed during the ILSIPoster Session. ILSI SEA Region’s poster focused on thepartnership the branch has built for the year 2009 as wellas past programs dedicated to translate science into action.Our ILSI SEA Region Branch Meeting was held on Sunday,January 24, 2010. Mrs Boon Yee Yeong and Ms PaulineChan of ILSI SEA Region shared the scientific programaccomplishments for 2009, and the branch developmentINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONILSI SEA Region Directors, Scientific Advisors and staff with the branch’sposter display3


FEATURESThe ILSI Annual Meeting 2010 also delivered scientificsessions and discussion forums covering broad spectrumof topics held on January 25-26, 2010.Scientific Sessions at the 2010 AnnualMeetingThe Risk Assessment and Functional Foods DiscussionForum highlighted ILSI initiatives to advance risk assessmentand address functional food issues. In the field of riskassessment, ILSI’s work relating to the framework for assessingthe human relevance of a mode-of-action, the Threshold ofToxicological Concern (TTC), the global threshold project,and the risk assessment in the 21st century project wereelaborated by Dr Sam Cohen of University of NebraskaMedical Centre, Dr Susan Felter of Procter & Gamble, Dr AlanBoobis of Imperial College London, and Dr Michelle Embryof ILSI HESI respectively. ILSI’s contributions in bridgingthe science and applications of functional foods and futureperspective were each shared by Ms Pauline Chan of ILSI SEARegion and Dr Stephane Vidry of ILSI Europe.The Carbohydrate Forum exchanged key messages basedon recent, ongoing and future works in the area of sugars,dietary fibres, prebiotics, and carbohydrate metabolism andphysiological process, as well as identified opportunities forcollaboration and partnership.In the ILSI North America Scientific Session onUnintended or Unexpected Effects Associated withChanges in Food and Diet, Dr Charles Santerre of PurdueUniversity shared advice for effectively communicating thehealthfulness of seafood while Dr Michael Doyle Scienceof University of Georgia pointed out food safety concernsassociated with reducing sodium in foods. The unexpectedresults on biomedical research and the learning points wereillustrated by Dr David Allison of University of Alabama.ILSI Research Foundation Scientific Session on WhatCan Medicine Teach Nutrition about TranslationalScience saw speakers such as Dr Anantha Shekhar of IndianaUniversity, Dr Connie Weaver of Purdue University, Dr J BruceGerman of University of California-Davis, and Dr RichardBlack of Kraft Foods, providing overview, application,research models and effective nutrition education.ILSI North America Scientific Session on FunctionalNeuroimaging, Flavor and Food provided insight onhuman olfactory imaging, flavor processing in humanbrain, craving, addiction and desire mechanism as well asfMRI response to taste in the hungry brain. The session sawvarious speakers such as Dr Jay A Gottfried of NorthwesternUniversity, Dr Johan N Lundstrom of University ofPennsylvania, Dr Marcia Levin Pelchat of Monell ChemicalSenses Center, and Dr Claire Murphy of San Diego StateUniversity.Risk Assessment and Functional Foods Discussion ForumILSI North America Scientific Session on FinancialConflicts of Interest and Scientific Integrity provided anoverview of the issues and perspectives from both academicand industry scientists including Ms Sylvia Rowe of SRStrategy LLC, Dr Joanne Lupton of Texas A&M University,and Dr Catherine Woteki of Mars Inc. Dr Esther Myers ofthe American Dietetic Association also raised the subjectof whether the quality of nutrition-related research isdetermined by the funding sources.ILSI IFBiC Scientific Session on Connecting with theScience of Food and Feed Crop Improvement andDetection provided the risk evaluation associated withmaster genes engineering, the concern of genome instabilityin combining traits, as well as the harmonization statusof 35s and Tnos detection methods by Dr Wayne Parrottof University of Georgia, Dr L Curtis Hannah of Universityof Florida, and Dr Marcia Holden of National Institute ofStandards and Technology.Most of the presentation slides for the scientific sessions anddiscussion forum, as well as the entity poster of each of theILSI branches, have been made available at http://www.ilsi.org/Pages/2010AnnualMeetingPresentations.aspx.4INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


FEATURESILSI SEA RegionAnnual Meeting 2010ILSI SEA Region members, directors and advisors came together onceagain at the ILSI SEA Region Annual Meeting 2010 held on April19-20, 2010, at Holiday Inn Atrium, Singapore. The one-and-a-halfday meeting reviewed the branch’s performance over the past yearand discussed its scientific program direction for 2010-2011. In hisPresident’s Address, Mr Geoffry Smith stated that “ILSI SEA Regionremains committed to maintaining its relevance to its members,building upon the trust it has established with its non-industrystakeholders and partners. It will continue to address vital issuesimportant for public health, foster harmonization in a diverse regionand development of local and regional capabilities, as well as advancescience and new technologies.”During the Assemblyof Members meeting,ILSI SEA Region electedtwo new memberdirectors, Dr HarveyGlick of Monsantoand Dr Seiji Aoyagiof Abbott NutritionR&D, to serve alongsidewith existingdirectors. The meetingalso elected Dr HatayaKongchuntuk of MeadJohnson Nutritionand Dr Roger Bektashof MARS as the newhonorary secretaryand treasurer respectively. Towardthe end of the Assembly of Membersmeeting, ILSI SEA Region presentedthe Recognition Award 2010 to MrPhilippe Gallardo of Nestle Singaporeand Prof Geok Lin Khor of UniversitiPutra Malaysia, in appreciation of theiroutstanding and valuable contributionsto ILSI SEA Region as member directorMr Geoffry Smith, President; Mrs Boon YeeYeong, Executive Director of ILSI SEA RegionILSI SEA Region remainscommitted to maintainingits relevance to itsmembers, building uponthe trust it has establishedwith its non-industrystakeholders and partners.It will continue to addressvital issues importantfor public health, fosterharmonization in a diverseregion and developmentof local and regionalcapabilities, as well asadvance science and newtechnologies.”and scientific advisor,respectively.“Partnership hasalways been the keyto maximizing ourimpact”, said MrsBoon Yee Yeong,ILSI SEA RegionExecutive Director,as she highlightedsome of the branch’scollaborations withother ILSI entitiesand the developmentof strategic alliancesaround the AsiaPacific region. An example of suchcollaboration was highlighted by MrHiroaki Hamano, President of ILSIJapan, who updated on the progressof the ILSI Asian branches joint projecton food commodity standards andanalytical methods harmonization.The Annual Meetingcontinued witha Joint Board ofDirectors & ExecutiveCommittee meeting,which discussed the branch’sdevelopment and communicationstrategies, the role of its scientificadvisory committee and otherorganization matters. This was followedby scientific program planningand discussion where the branch’sCountry Committee coordinatorsfrom Australasia, Indonesia, Malaysia,Philippines and Thailand each reportedINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONPartnership has alwaysbeen the key to maximizingour impact”Assoc Prof Samir Samman and Ms MeganCobcrofton the past year’s activities andproposed program for the coming year.Ms Pauline Chan, Scientific Directorof ILSI SEA Region, elaborated on theconcept of ILSI SEA Region FlagshipPrograms, which aims to enable eachScience Cluster to meet public healthneeds and priorities of ILSI SEA Region’sstakeholders. The Flagship Programwill feature as signature programs tostrengthen ILSI SEA Region’s leadershiprole and maximize its impact in thosescientific fields, and willbe evaluated at the endof 2-3 years.Each Science Cluster alsoheld their respective program planningsession to review past activities, set thedirections of upcoming programs,and identify emerging issues of publichealth importance in the region. Theannual meeting was wrapped up withthe half-day Science Symposium onOptimizing Brain and Gut Health:Genes, Diet and Lifestyle.5


FEATURESScience Symposium at the ILSI SEARegion Annual Meeting 2010Prof Michael Meany presenting at the Science SymposiumOptimizing Brain and GutHealth: Genes, Diet andLifestyleWith increased longevity in manysocieties, there is growing interest inscientific research that looks into theoptimization of physical and cognitivefunction and performance throughoutthe lifespan. Factors such as our genes,the food we consume, the environmentand our lifestyle choices may modifythe risk or severity of degenerativediseases. There is also mountingevidence that early fetal nutrition,depending on maternal intake ofcertain foods and food components,and the ambient environment, maysubstantially influence, for better or forworse, our genetic potential for health.To address these issues, ILSI SEARegion in collaboration with theCommonwealth Scientific and IndustrialResearch Organization of Australia(CSIRO) organized a half-day sciencesymposium on Optimizing Brainand Gut Health: Genes, Diet andLifestyle, in conjunction with ILSI SEARegion Annual Meeting 2010. Held inSingapore on April 20, 2010, the sciencesymposium was attended by over 100participants including representativesfrom food industries, governmentofficials, nutrition and public healthprofessionals, and academics.Epigenetics, Nutrigenomicsand Biomarkers of Brainand Gut HealthThe symposium was opened by alecture from Prof Michael Meaney,a James McGill Professor at McGillUniversity, Canada, as well as anAssociate Director at the SingaporeInstitute for Clinical Sciences. Hepresented an interesting finding fromanimal studies on how maternal care(licking / grooming) may alter theoffspring’s behavioral and endocrineresponses to stress through changesin the expression of genes mediatedby DNA methylation in relevant brainregions. These effects lasted intoadulthood after the offspring wasweaned from the mother. Maternalcare also influenced gene expression infat tissues and this effect was associatedwith obesity risk and insulin sensitivity.Such findings may provide a biologicalbasis for the epidemiologically definedlink between family function andhealth in adulthood.Prof Michael Fenech of CSIRO Food& Nutritional Sciences, Australia,presented another angle of healthoptimization at the DNA level. It isbecoming increasingly evidentthat the risk for developmentaland degenerative diseaseincreases with more DNAdamage, which in turn isdependent on nutritionalstatus, environment andlife-style. Genome stabilityprocesses are modulatedby various vitamins andmicronutrients. Dietarypatterns, functional foodsand supplements that aredesigned to improve genomemaintenance in individualswith specific geneticbackgrounds may providean important contribution to anoptimum health strategy for diseaseprevention. The optimal concentrationof micronutrients for prevention ofgenome damage is only just startingto be defined and is also dependenton polymorphisms in genes involvedin the uptake and metabolism ofmicronutrients required for DNArepair and DNA replication. Given thecentral importance of DNA damageas the most fundamental disease, it isbecoming essential to define dietaryreference values for maintenance ofoptimal genome integrity during thedifferent life-stages. These principles arebeing translated into clinical practicevia the Genome Health Clinic conceptbased on personalized diagnosis ofDNA damage and its prevention usingdietary and lifestyle strategies.Presenting on behalf of Dr CassandraSzoeke from CSIRO PreventativeHealth Flagship, Prof Richard Headshared on the Australian Imaging,Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study ofAgeing . The prospective longitudinalstudy examines cognitive changesin ageing Australians with aim toimprove understanding of the causesand diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease(AD). It focuses on early detectionthrough neuroimaging, biomarkersand improved clinical phenotypesand examines preventive lifestyle andProf Michael Fenech taking questions from theScience Symposium audience6INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


FEATURESdietary factors that might delay theonset of AD toward developing clinicallyproven preventative strategies.Application of Science andTechnology for OptimalBrain and Gut HealthIn the following session, the topicsmoved toward application of thisknowledge. Prof Yuan Kun Lee ofNational University of Singaporeprovided some insight on how toharness the interaction of microbiomeand diet for gut health. Diet may alterthe intestinal microbiota profile, forbetter or worse. On the other hand,intestinal microbiota may alter dietarymetabolism, nutrient absorptionand host physiological functions. Forexample, high lipid diet alters thegut microbiota, leading to chronicinflammation, lipogenesis, steatosis,and potential cancer development.Sugar or phenolic constituents inthe diet may affect the adhesion ofintestinal microbiota in favor ofeither probiotics or pathogens.These dietary constituents are alsodigested by intestinal microbiota torelease metabolites that determinesenergy metabolism, microbial andimmunological profile, leading to eitherhealth or diseases. Understandingthese interactions between theintestinal microbiota, local dietarycomponents and host physiologyis crucial in facilitating the effectiveapplication of probiotics and diet indisease prevention and treatment.Prof Ernst Reimerdes of the GermanInstitute for Food Technology sharedon the technology perspective onbioactive ingredients, functionalapplication and impact on guthealth. Food science and relatedproduct development have reachedthe molecular level, entering a newdimension of better understanding offood and nutrition. Gut physiology,responsible for the refinement andbio-utilization of the various types ofnutrients, is one of the key elements forachieving health potentials. Pro- andpre-biotics play a major role in gut andhealth relationships, completing theirmetabolic pattern and profile. Thus,he opined that a holistic approachis necessary via nutrikinetics whichinvolves understanding of bioactivesmetabolism, bioavailability andbioutilization as well as the appropriatematrix design and technologyapproach to harness the structureactivityrelationship.Dr Tapas Das of Abbott NutritionR&D, Singapore, offered industry’sperspective in translating nutritionaland cognitive science into application.He highlighted the global prevalenceof dementia due to the agingpopulation and the lack of aneffective pharmacological approach tomanage dementia. Asia offers a greatpotential for nutritional interventionfor cognitive impairment with its vastusage of functional ingredients suchas Ayurvedic or traditional Chinesemedicine. More information howeverneeds to be established on thesenatural ingredients, especially withregards to the toxicity, safety andclinical efficacy. Multiple signalingpathways are affected in cognitivedecline and nutrition may affectcognitive processing at many levelsand through a variety of pathways. Toovercome the challenges, nutritionalproduct development would need totarget multiple pathways, use multipleactive ingredients with clinicallyproven safety and efficacy, and tobe aimed at specific population. Thestability, palatability, packaging andaffordability would also need to beconsidered.The session ended with a presentationby Prof Head on the importanceof early detection, adoption, andmarket application as key approachsfor optimizing brain and gut health.The CSIRO Preventative HealthFlagship focuses on two key diseasestates, namely AD and colorectalcancer. Methods for early diagnosisof AD are of paramount importance.AD is hypothesized to be causedby misfolded proteins known asβ-amyloid (Aβ) that aggregate toproduce toxic oligomers, leading toinflammation, fibril formation andnecrosis. Quantitative imaging mayhelp to diagnose this amyloid load. Thecolorectal cancer approach focusesupon both detection and potentialintervention. Detection research usesgenomic, epigenetic and proteomicanalysis to identify new biomarkersINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONfor early stage disease while preventionstrategy focuses on the role of resistantstarch and its fermented productsi.e. short chain fatty acids in bowelhealth. Finally, the research needs to betranslated into market application anda new barley variety with unique starchand grain composition is currentlyundergoing health and nutrient claimsubstantiation process.In her concluding remarks, MrsBoon Yee Yeong, Executive Directorof ILSI SEA Region, thanked all thedistinguished speakers and chairs ofthe science symposium. She notedthat exciting researches to promotebrain and gut health are underway andthe organization remains committedto promoting and disseminatingscience-based knowledge for publichealth advancement. To further sharethe latest scientific research in the areaof brain health, ILSI SEA Region andCSIRO will co-organize a Symposiumon Nutrition and Cognition to be heldin October 2010 in Malaysia.ILSI SEA Region President presents Prof GeokLin Khor and Mr Philippe Gallardo with theRecognition Award 20107


FEATURESReducing Obesity in Our Communities:Approaches & Perspectives From Aroundthe GlobeThe escalating worldwide trend in overweight and obesity and associated health risks has been attributedto a complex combination of changing food availability, consumption habits, environment, genetic andsocioeconomic factors. Dietary excesses and physical inactivity are the main underlying causes of undesirableweight gain, and ILSI has been actively involved in addressing overweight and obesity among children throughongoing collaborations on innovative community- and school-based intervention programs.Obesity remains a high priority public health issue in Southeast Asia and Australasia, and to address this issue,ILSI SEA Region organized two meetings in July 2010 to provide platforms for updating the science and sharingof successful community-based programs from different parts of the world that have shown positive impacton physical activity and dietary behavior.Obesity Seminar in SingaporeThe Singapore seminar was held at the Health Promotion Board AuditoriumThe Singapore seminar was held on July 22, focusing on the themeof “Healthy Eating and Active Living – Partnership Approachesto Reducing Obesity in our Communities”. The meeting was coorganizedwith the Singapore Health Promotion Board, a key driver forreducing obesity and achieving optimal health among the populationLessons from Policiesand Programs Aroundthe GlobeExperts who shared on differentprograms and approaches to obesityprevention and control from aroundthe world included Dr Annie Ling,Director of the Adult Health Divisionof HPB, Singapore; Dr Michael Pratt,Chief of the Physical Activity andHealth Branch of the National Centerfor Chronic Disease Prevention and8Control, USA; and DrJean-Michel Borys ofEPODE, France.Opening thesymposium with herkeynote address, DrAnnie Ling sharedSingapore’s currentefforts in obesityprevention andcontrol. A wide range of initiativesand programs are targeted at varioussettings such as schools, workplaces,industry, healthcareand the community.She highlighted theHPB’s integratedapproach whichincorporates politicalleadership as wellas public relationsand mass mediacampaigns. Creating aconducive physical environment, andbuilding partnerships and advocacy,are also key strategies. Dr Ling alsoemphasized that, “Moving forward,Moving forward, earlychildhood is a critical areafor action. Engaging nontraditional,non-healthpartners is necessary, as iscontinuing to strengthenthe evidence-base foractions in research andprograms.”INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


Dr Annie Ling, Director of the HPB’s AdultHealth Division, gives her keynote addressearly childhood is a critical area foraction. Engaging non-traditional,non-health partners is necessary,as is continuing to strengthen theevidence-base for actions in researchand programs.”Experiences and lessons from theAmericas, particularly in the area ofpromotion of physical activity, wasshared by Dr Michael Pratt, who notedthat “Physical inactivity is a seriouspublic health issue but relatively fewcountries have integrated systemsfor physical activity promotion.” Toensure that policies are effectivelyimplemented, he reviewed theframework for evidence-based publichealth that incorporates good sciencewith community preferences at apopulation scale. Evidence-basedpublic health practice includes: (a)policy framework, (b) surveillance,(c) evidence-based interventions,(d) guidelines, (e) evaluation, (f)communication (public and policymakers) and (g) partnerships/networks. Dr Pratt then shared lessonslearnt from key programs in LatinAmerica, and noted that successfulprograms feature national strategiesthat are innovative and cost effectiveby making use of public spaces, as wellas partnerships that offer powerfulsynergies, bring about positive healthand social impact, and enhance thequality of life.A successful model and frameworkfor obesity prevention developedin Europe and known as EPODE(Ensemble, Prevenons l’Obesite DesEnfants) was presented by Dr Jean-Michel Borys, who reviewed the reachof EPODE with efforts now expandedto more than 200 towns in France,and projects in Greece, Mexico, Spain,Australia and Belgium. The EPODEprocess requires political support andendorsement from national and localgovernmental organizations, publicprivatepartnerships, the commitmentof resources and funding, as well astraining provided by aproject manager, fora period of at least 5years. Using evidencebasedsocial marketingtechniques, EPODEprograms focus onyoung children up to12 years. Dr Borys also shared that thegeneral EPODE framework involves abottom up and top down approachand uses an adapted methodologyconsidering each country’s availablemeans, resources and politicalenvironment.New Perspectives andInnovative ApproachesLooking at the obesity epidemicfrom an economic perspective wasDr Eric Finklestein, Deputy Directorof the Health Services and SystemsResearch Program at Duke-NUSGraduate Medical School, Singapore.Dr Finklestein pointed out theeconomic forces that have shapedthe obesity epidemic – lowered costof food consumption, increased costsof being physicallyactive, and decreased(health) cost of excessweight. These factorscan be influencedby incentives anddisincentives, toencourage healthybehaviors.Turning to the topic ofgeography, Dr AdamDrewnowski, Directorof the University ofWashington Centerfor Obesity Researchin Seattle, USA,examined how foodconsumption patternsalso show a specialdistribution. DrDrewnowski’s researchINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONFEATURESshows that the geographic distributionof wealth and social class, as wellas financial disparities in access tohealthier diets, may help to explainwhy the highest rates of obesity anddiabetes are found among minorityand poorer population groups.Placing emphasis on the family settingwas Dr Karen Campbell, Senior ResearchFellow (Public Health)at Deakin University,Physical inactivity is aserious public healthissue but relatively fewcountries have integratedsystems for physical activitypromotion.”Australia. Shepresented on TheMelbourne InFANTProgram researchstudy which seeksto provide first-timeparents with knowledge, parentingskills and strategies to promote healthyeating, promote physical activity andlimit sedentary behaviors in infants.Dr Campbell stressed that parentsplay a key role as the primary providerof an obesity-protective or obesitypromotingfamily environment. Theyalso have the potential to advocate forand to endorse broad reaching socialpolicy that will support their desire toraise healthy children.A brief overview of the role of thefood industry as a key stakeholder inthe management and prevention ofthe obesity epidemic was shared byMs Jamie Liow, Corporate NutritionAdvisor at Nestle Singapore. She sharedthat Nestle is committed to developinghealthier food products for consumersto make informed food choices.Dr Jean-Michel Borys shares on the EPODE framework9


FEATURESSharingof SuccessfulProgramsExamples of successful obesityprevention programs targeted atdifferent population groups werepresented:• Dr Takashi Arao of WasedaUniversity, Japan shared ona community-based obesityprevention program for middleaged and older adults that showedsignificant improvement in bodycomposition and was effective inpromoting changes in exercise anddietary behaviors in overweightand obese adults.• Dr Michael Pratt presented Exerciseis Medicine (EIM), a globalinitiative focusing on encouragingprimary care physicians and otherhealth care providers to includephysical activity and exercisepromotion as a “vital sign” incounseling patients. The EIMinitiative, which is US-based,now has successful collaborationsglobally.• Mr Devindra Sapai, Dean of PupilDevelopment at Seng Kang PrimarySchool, Singapore, showcased theschool’s successful Daily PhysicalEducation (PE) program and howthe school creatively workedaround the curriculum timetable,school cum PE attire and use offacilities and resources to supportthis program.• Ms Pauline Chan, Director ofScientific Programs of ILSI SEARegion presented PowerKids,a resource tool and educationalprogram developed by ILSI SEARegion to assist school teachersin promoting healthy weightamong young children throughknowledge and skills in physicalactivity and nutrition. PowerKidswas developed in collaborationwith Singapore’s Ministryof Education and has beenimplemented in several primaryschools here. Reaching out beyondSingapore, PowerKids has alsobeen translated and piloted inThailand and Indonesia. Evaluationresults from the Singapore,Thailand and Indonesia programshave shown that children’s dietarybehaviors and physical activity canbe changed in a positive mannerthrough education.ILSI and the Obesity IssueHighlighting ILSI’s initiatives andcontributions to addressing thepriority issue of childhood obesityover the last 14 years was Ms DebraKibbe, Director of the Physical Activityand Nutrition Program at the ILSIResearch Foundation. ILSI has workedto build the science on obesity and itsrelated behaviors by hosting scientificmeetings and workshops, publishingreviews and journal articles, andsupporting translational researchprojects. ILSI has also developedtargeted intervention programs, suchas incorporating physical activity ina classroom setting. Through theseefforts and experience gained, somekey success factors ILSI has learntinclude (a) identifying appropriateand effective public-private partners,(b) ongoing relationship buildingand communication among partnershelp to develop capabilities, (c) welldesignedevaluation provide evidenceA day after the seminar, our speakershad the opportunity to visit SengKang Primary School to observe theirstudents engaging in daily physicaleducation (PE). Ms Debra Kibbeof ILSI Research Foundation tookthe opportunity to introduce twoTake 10!® activities to four classesof Primary 4 students and their PEteachers in the school hall. Thestudents participated eagerly andhad much fun stomping away andswinging their arms. Dr Jean-MichelBorys and Dr Takashi Arao were taken on a mini schooltour and got to put on kangaroo boots that allows oneto burn more calories while walking. The Principal andDean of Student Development were clearly impressedby the Take 10!® programand ILSI hopes to have theopportunity to collaborate withschools in its efforts to manageand prevent obesity in children.Our speakers then visited CherieHearts @ Limau childcare centerwhere a class of Kindergarten2 children took part in ageappropriateTake 10!®activities during their classroomtime. Thereafter, the schooladministrator took the speakerson a tour around their childcare center and sharedtheir center’s commitment to serving healthier foods,especially more vegetables to preschoolers.visitsSingapore!10INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


FEATURESfor bringing the program to a wider audience, (d)replicability and sustainability can be achieved throughflexibility to “fit into” different systems (schools, worksitesetc), and even different countries. Identifying research gapsand working to fill unique niches with regards to studies inobesity prevention and control has been a successful modelfor ILSI. Ms Kibbe concluded that “Ultimately, the goal is forILSI to collaborate on a multi-country translational researchproject that will collect and compare obesity related data.”Ms Debra Kibbe of ILSI Research Foundation presents the Take10! ProgramWrapping up the seminar was a productive panel discussionthat drew questions from the audience ranging from healthprofessionals, physical educators, teachers and the foodindustry. It is hoped that this seminar will successfully pavethe way for future collaborations between ILSI SEA Regionand relevant stakeholders in a joint effort to address theobesity situation in Singapore.Obesity Symposium in AustraliaThe symposium in Sydney, Australia– “Reducing Obesity in ourCommunities: Applying GlobalExperiences in Healthy Eating &Active Living” was held from July 26to 27, 2010. Our collaborators for thismeeting were the Sydney West HealthService and the Center for HealthInnovation & Partnership (CHIP). Bothorganizations aim to build sustainable,high quality and responsive healthcaredelivery for major illnesses, includingobesity and related chronic conditions,in western Sydney.Reinforcing the focus topics of the Singapore seminar held the week before,the key objectives of the Australia symposium were to (a) promote a healthierfood supply and physical activity as two important, sustainable strategies forobesity prevention and management; (b) provide a platform for sharing ofinternational and national best practices in preventing and managing obesity;(c) develop local and community partnerships to promote healthy eating andactive living; as well as (d) examine assessment, monitoring of evaluationand information systems to support best practices.Australian Approaches toCommunity-based ObesityPreventionThe first two plenary sessions of thesymposium featured presentations byexperts from the Americas, Europe,Asia and Australia on their respectiveefforts and programs aimed at obesityprevention and management. Severalof the experts who presented inSingapore now shared their work andexperiences gained with the audiencein Sydney.Highlighting research and initiativesin Australia were several scientistsand experts from academia as well asgovernment health agencies. Dr BoydSwinburn of the WHO CollaboratingCentre for Obesity Prevention atDeakin University, Australia, sharedthat “first generation” obesityprevention studies targeted at childrenINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONand adolescents were dominated bypre-developed programs appliedmainly in school settings. However,such studies have often not yieldedpositive outcomes. Recent studiesthat have taken a whole-of-communityapproach by engaging multiple settingsand implementing multi-strategyinterventions over several years haveshown more encouraging results. Headded that the next challenge is totake the emerging evidence from these11


FEATURESsuccessful “projects” and converting itinto “systems” for obesity preventionwithin communities. To do so, heemphasized that “Australia needs tomove towards creating the monitoringprograms, knowledge exchangesystems and implementation supportservices to bring together emergingevidence and local expertise to createbest practice for promoting healthyeating, physical activity and healthyweight in children and adolescents.”Ms Michele Herriot, Director of theHealth Promotion Branch within theDr Jean-Michel Borys, Mrs Boon Yee Yeong and Dr Glen Maberlyenjoy a tour of the Sydney HarbourSouth Australian Department of Healthpresented on the OPAL (ObesityPrevention and Lifestyle) programimplemented incommunities in SouthAustralia since 2009.Encouraged by thepositive preliminaryresults of the EPODEprogram in France,South Australiadeveloped OPALbased on a similarframework, and aimsto improve healthyeating and physicalpatterns of children.Using the EPODEmethodology, OPAL uses themes tofocus attention on key behavior changesrequired, and also seeks to changeenvironments in a range of settings to12support good health. Currently in sixcommunities, OPAL will soon expandto more locations and is also the mostsignificant healthpromotion program inSouth Australia.A range of newprograms in thestate of New SouthWales (NSW) targetedat children andadolescents, as well asnew public investments and fundingsin such programs, were sharedby Dr BrendanGoodger of theCenter for HealthAdvancement,NSW Departmentof Health.Examining optionsfor improvingthe effectivenessof communitybasedobesityprevention, Assoc.Prof Tim Gill of theBoden Institute forObesity, Nutritionand Exercise,University ofSydney, gave hisopinion on howbest practice inobesity prevention should be defined.As the responses of individuals andcommunities to obesity preventioninterventions are oftenunpredictable due toAustralia needs tomove towards creatingthe monitoringprograms, knowledgeexchange systems andimplementation supportservices to bring togetheremerging evidence andlocal expertise to createbest practice for promotinghealthy eating, physicalactivity and healthyweight in children andadolescents.”the complexity of socialand psychologicalfactors, best practicein obesity preventionshould be defined bythe quality of boththe process and theintervention’s efficacy.Healthy FoodSupply andthe Role ofIndustryThe food supply plays a crucial role inthe obesity prevention strategies, andthis issue was addressed by Dr BruceNeal, Senior Director of The GeorgeInstitute for International Health,Australia, as well as Ms Peta Craig,Manager of NutritionPolicies and Codes atthe Australian Foodand Grocery Council.Dr Neal elaboratedthat the currentglobal epidemics ofchronic diseases suchas obesity are in largepart attributable to the food industry’ssuccess in offering food products atvery low cost and on a large scale.The food industry should continueto improve the nutritional qualityof their products, and be subject tosystematic and objective monitoringof its commitments and actions. MsCraig concurred that “one of the mostimportant roles of the Australian foodmanufacturing industry is ensuringAustralians have access to nutritious,safe and cost-effective food to help ensuremaximum health and wellbeing.” Shealso shared that under the Food andHealth Dialogue initiated in 2009,public and private stakeholders wouldwork collectively on the areas of foodreformulation to reduce levels of riskassociatednutrients, standardizingand establishing appropriate portionsizes for food and drink products, aswell as consumer awareness activitiesthat promote healthy eating patternsand food choices. By taking a multifacetedapproach, the food industrycan contribute towards driving thepreventative health agenda.One of the most importantroles of the Australian foodmanufacturing industry isensuring Australians haveaccess to nutritious, safeand cost-effective foodto help ensure maximumhealth and wellbeing.”In addition to four plenary sessions,the Symposium also included severalconcurrent sessions that focused onthe themes of “Building a Frameworkfor Local Action”, as well as“Mobilizing our Communities”. Theinsightful presentations and fruitfuldiscussions during the symposiumprovided strong encouragementthat multi-sector partnerships acrosscivic, public, private and academicorganizations, and most importantly,the open exploration and adoptionof effective ideas from different partsof the world, can lead to action andsuccess in preventing obesity in ourcommunities.INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


PERSONAL PERSPECTIVEDr Roger BektashDirector of Scientific Affairs, Mars Inc.and Vice President of ILSI SEA RegionQ: In 2010, ILSI SEA Region has focused again onthe obesity issue through 2 important meetings inSingapore and Australia. From your perspective, howhas the global obesity epidemic evolved over the last10 years, and are there new issues or challenges tobe addressed?Dr Roger Bektash (RB):There is well founded concernfor the health of current and future generations due tooverweight and obesity, particularly in the emergingeconomies of our region. The rapid social changes associatedwith urbanization, new work patterns and family structures,are leading to lifestyle and dietary practices that are, in manycases, not consistent with the maintenance of healthy weightor indeed wellbeing.Whilst a reduction in the rate of increase in overweight andobesity has been recently observed in children in Singaporeand Australia, the absolute numbers are still too high, andrates continue to rise in many countries in the region. ILSISEA Region can play a significant role in developing a betterunderstanding of the issue and in demonstrating programsthat effectively address the needs for a better informed publicand the provision of improved opportunities for healthylifestyles and diets.Q. For the developing countries in Southeast Asiawhere obesity is a growing problem, what are somelessons and experiences they can learn from moredeveloped regions such as Australasia?RB: The initial efforts to find “the cause” and “someoneto blame” for the increase in obesity, has given way tothe recognition that there are multiple deep sociologicalfactors that need to be addressed. The recognition that allstakeholders can be part of the solution has been a majorstep, together with the demonstration that the food industrycan, has already commenced and will continue to developproducts and ways of business that assist consumers tomanage their diet through the provision of informationsuch as energy per serve on “front of pack”, reformulationof products to reduce energy density and ingredientsof concern, provide smaller portion sizes and to marketresponsibly, particularly to children.INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONDr Roger Bektash is the Director of Scientific Affairs for Mars Inc.’soperations in Australia and Asia. He is responsible for regulatory andscientific affairs and policy development in the Asia Pacific regionfocusing on health and nutrition, food labeling and safety. Dr Bektashis also involved in nutrition research activities focusing on the impactof foods and eating patterns on dental health, physical performance,glycemic response, cholesterol lowering as well as the role of cocoaflavanols in health.Q. In the past decade, you have been actively involvedin ILSI SEA Region’s programs and activities in obesityprevention, especially in the area of childhoodobesity. Looking ahead, what do you think are someof our opportunities, and what do you hope for ILSISEA Region to achieve in tackling this crucial publichealth issue?RB: I can see many opportunities for ILSI SEA Region to leadthe way in applying sound science-based approaches to thedesign and evaluation of programs, and the encouragementof public-private partnerships to be effective tools in changingthe knowledge attitudes and behaviors of not only the public,but also for urban planners, workplaces, schools and foodcompanies. By focusing on the desired outcome (solution),rather than the perceived problem, real progress can bemade.Q. As a long-standing Director and member of ILSISEA Region’s Executive Committee, you have ledand guided the branch in its development. What isyour vision for ILSI SEA Region as it seeks to furthermaximize its impact on public health?RB: There are many other areas where ILSI SEA Region canmake significant contribution by bringing together the keystakeholders:• In public health to address issues of micronutrient deficiencythrough improved and affordable fortification technologyand implementation, and in addressing the next wave ofnon-communicable diseases such as diabetes;• In food safety, by increasing the effective use of riskassessment and management approaches, and the earlyidentification and sharing of knowledge of potential newthreats; and• In the provision of affordable and available foods throughthe fostering of common approaches to the establishmentof food standards, regulation and labeling therebyfacilitating trade and reducing costs for food compliance.13


REPORTS FROM THE REGIONTraining Regulators in Vietnam to Develop NationalFood Safety StandardsOn April 7-8, 2010, ILSI SEA Region incollaboration with the Vietnam FoodAdministration (VFA) conducted a 2-dayNational Training Workshop onDevelopment of Food Safety Standardsto provide a practical training and handsonexperience for Vietnam regulators in thedevelopment of food safety standards. Heldat the Horison Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, theworkshop was well attended by approximately40 participants comprising VFA staff, provincialfood officers, food industry representatives,as well as FAO and WHO representatives. Theworkshop emphasized on: understanding theThe workshop was opened by MsPauline Chan, Director of ScientificPrograms at ILSI SEA Region, andDr Nguyen Cong Khan, Director ofVietnam Food Administration. DrPeter Abbott of Biosearch Consulting,Australia, and Dr Dedi Fardiaz of BogorAgricultural University, Indonesia, eachplayed a significant role by providingan overview of each session andfacilitating the group discussion. MsJiraratana Thesasilpa of Thai Food andDrug Administration also contributeda presentation on the development ofstandards for special food categories.All sessions were conducted in Englishwith Vietnamese translation for moreeffective learning.Workshop SessionsExploring a Range of FoodSafety IssuesAfter an initial discussion withinthe groups regarding food safetyissues for Vietnam and the needfor food standards (Session 1),the groups explored the Codexstandards and searched for specificinformation using the examplechemicals assigned to their group(Session 2). In the next session,the groups examined the riskanalysis framework and studiedthe principles used to establishfood standards by addressingquestions related to the examplechemicals (Session 3). This was followedby exercises searching for toxicity data(Session 4) and food consumptiondata, as well as doing a simple dietaryexposure calculation (Session 5).The groups then examined how thisinformation is used to determine ifthere is a health risk (Session 6) andway in which food standards can helpto manage the health risk (Session7). In the final session, the specificproblems associated with special foodcategories, such as infant foods, wasexamined (Session 8).Interactive FormatDr Dedi Fardiaz, Ms Jiraratana Thesasilpa, Ms Pauline Chan, Dr Peter Abbottand Mrs Boon Yee Yeongprinciples behind standard-setting; finding data on toxicity and dietary exposure; using this data to determinethe health risks; and examining the risk management options, with the emphasis on standard setting.The format of the workshopwas designed to give maximumopportunity to the participants todiscuss food safety issues throughapplication to specific examples offood additives and contaminants.Participants enjoying the interactive and hands-on exercisesduring the training workshopEach workshop session began witha short presentation providing theprinciples, assessment frameworks,data sources, methodology, etc,which was then followed by practicalexercises. Participants were dividedinto four groups and were tasked tocomplete the exercise sheets. Becauseeach group contained individualswith a range of knowledge andexperience, they were able to developa common understanding of the issuesthrough discussion and to assist eachother answering the questions andcompleting exercises. The groupsworked enthusiastically on the exercisesusing the internet resources, database,and the background informationprovided. The presentations werewell attended and there was goodparticipation in the group discussionsessions.RecommendationsThis workshop has been successfulin assisting the VFA officers indeveloping food safety standards.The training workshop can alsobe useful in helping other ASEANcountries where food standardsare being developed. It mayalso benefit the more developedASEAN countries where there isalways a need to train new staffin how to assess food safety issuesand develop standards.14INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


REPORTS FROM THE REGIONApplication of Codex Standards on Foods forCodex Standards haveInfants and Young Children in Indonesiabeen used as referenceand basis for a numberof regulations inIndonesia, including Codex Standards on Foods Intended for Infants and Young Children. However, theunderstanding and interpretation of these standards sometimes vary between individuals and institutions.Thus, it is important to have a common understanding and interpretation of Codex Standards, the developmentprocess and scientific criteria behind the Standards and Guidelines among all stakeholders to facilitate theappropriate adoption and implementation in the country. In response, ILSI SEA Region and its Indonesia CountryCommittee together with the Indonesian Paediatric Society (IDAI) organized a Seminar and RoundtableDiscussion on Understanding Codex Standards on Foods Intended for Infants and Young Children onApril 28, 2010, at Mandarin Hotel, Jakarta. Opened by Ms Pauline Chan of ILSI SEA Region and Dr Badriul Hegarof IDAI, the seminar was attended by 80 participants representing pediatricians, government officials, healthministry, nutrition associations and food industries.An overview and interpretation of thesaid Codex Standards was presentedby Dr Jeronimas Maskeliunas of JointFAO/WHO Food Standards Program,Italy. He first elaborated on thedevelopment process and scientificinput to establish the standards,codes of practice, guidelines, andother related documents. He thenlisted some of Codex documentsin the area of children’s nutrition.For example, the Codex Standardfor Infant Formula and Formulas forSpecial Medical Purposes Intendedfor Infants covers compositional,quality, safety, methods of analysis andlabeling requirements of the product,but does not cover all substancesfound in breast milk. Addition ofoptional ingredients is permittedupon scientific demonstration ofthe suitability and safety; sufficientamount must be present to achievethe intended effect. He concluded thatCodex standards, maximum residuelimits, codes of practice and otherrecommendations are of advisorynature and form a considerable sourceof harmonized information for useby governments and food industry.National governments can make theirown decisions, taking into accountthe assessment by risk assessors andscientists of the national agencies andinstitutions.Ms Tetty Sihombing, Director for FoodProduct Standardization at NationalAgency for Drug and Food Control(BPOM), provided an overview ofregulations in Indonesia governinginfant formula, follow on formula,and complementary foods. Sheoutlined the standardization processin Indonesia and highlighted someof the national standards which arevoluntary and the regulations whichare mandatory. She also shared thatthe country’s Regulation on InfantFormula and Infant Formula for MedicalPurposes Control was developed usingrelevant Codex Standards as the mainreference. Indonesia also has a NationalStandard for Follow on Formula and forComplementary Food of various types,which stipulates the quality, safetyand labeling requirements. These aredone to ensure that food for infantsand young children are optimum forgrowth and development.The seminar ended with a livelydiscussion moderated by Dr DediFardiaz of Bogor Agricultural Universityand Dr Aman Bhakti Pulungan, apediatrician of Cipto MangunkusumoHospital. The addition of optionalingredients was one of the issues raised,to which Dr Maskeliunas mentionedthat national governments shouldmake the decision on which optionalingredient to be allowed and thequantities allowed based on scientificevidence. While this is not an easy task,national authorities can take provisionsfrom other regulations that are alreadyin place. The task to determinesuitability and safety requires extensivescientific opinion and this issue canbe raised during Codex Committeeon Nutrition and Foods for SpecialDietary Uses (CCNFSDU) meetings.INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONHe also clarified that nutrition andhealth claims for infant and youngchildren are not allowed in currentCodex guidelines. In response to thequeries for possible milk standard forchildren above 3 years old, BPOMwould require data that support theability of milk and milk supplementsto fill in the nutrient gap and providethe nutritional benefits before such amilk standard need to be set.The roundtable discussion betweenBPOM, IDAI, ILSI SEA Region andIndonesian Nutrition and DieteticsAssociation (PERSAGI) representativeswas chaired by Dr Dedi Fardiazand facilitated by Dr Maskeliunas.The discussion clarified issues suchas the definition of infant, youngchildren and children, definition ofpremature and low birth weightbabies, definition of complementaryand formulated supplementaryfood. The group also discussed riskmanagement options to reduce therisk of E. Sakazakii contaminationin reconstituted powdered milk,including the temperature ofwater used for reconstitution. DrMaskeliunas explained that underCodex Standards for Infant Formula,the essential and semi-essential aminoacids in human milk are presented as arange of values as well as mean valuesbased on different published studies.National governments may use themas reference to set up the nationalstandards for amino acids content ofinfant formula15


REPORTS FROM THE REGIONUpdates on Saturated and Trans Fats in Australia:Science, Regulations and Consumption PatternsILSI SEA Region’s Australasia Country Office organized a Symposium onSaturated and Trans Fats : Where Do We Stand? on June 17, 2010in Sydney, Australia. The focus was to bring forward the best availabledata on saturated and trans fat (SFA and TFA) from a consumptionperspective, on the health issues, and to understand what is being done,can be done and the future challenges. The symposium was attended byover 110 scientists from Australian universities and research institutesand by food industry representatives, advocacy groups, governmentand regulatory bodies.Associate Professor Barbara Meyerfrom the University of Wollongong,presented a review of the fat intakein the Australian population based ondata from the last National NutritionSurvey (NNS) in 1995 and indicatedmajor food sources of saturated fat(SFA) in Australia are cereal basedproducts and dishes (eg biscuits,cakes, pies, fried rice, pizza, quiche,croissants, pancakes etc), as well asmilk products and meat. Comparingthe NNS data for children aged 2-16to the 2007 Australian National16Children’s Nutrition and PhysicalActivity Survey Data, Prof Meyerpointed out that although total TFAand SFA were decreased, so werethe monounsaturated (MUFA) andpolyunsaturated fats (PUFA) in thislatest survey.Dr Dorothy Mackerras, Chief PublicHealth Nutrition Advisor for FSANZ,presented data on TFA consumption inAustralia and New Zealand. The meanintake of TFA was estimated to be 1.4g/day in Australia and 1.7g/day in NZ(2006 data). Since then, analyticalmethods have become more sensitiveand can detect a greater range of TFAin food, particularly ruminant TFAs.A revised report by FSANZ in 2009,showed a small reduction in meanTFA intake of 1.3g/day in Australia and1.6g/day in NZ. This shows that TFAintakes in Australia and New Zealandare low relative to other countries.Dr Mackerras concluded by pointingout that because of the changes insurvey and analytical methods overtime, multiple analyses are necessaryin order to improve the reliability ofthe data.Dr Chakra Wijesundera, PrincipalResearch Scientist from CSIROpresented data on the industriallyproducedTFA in foods in Australia.Dr Wijesundera emphasized that thereare no current restrictions on TFA infood in Australia. Ms Barbara Edenfrom the Heart Foundation gave avery comprehensive presentation ondietary fats, including SFA, Omega-3and Omega-6 PUFAs, MUFA and TFAand their links to heart disease. Shediscussed the Heart Foundation’srecommendations for adult Australiansto consume less saturated and transfats by replacing them with thehealthier PUFA and MUFA. She alsodiscussed the position that the HeartFoundation is bringing forward to thegovernments to set mandatory TFAlabeling on foods in supermarkets andmeals eaten out of home.Prof Peter Clifton, of the Baker IDIHeart & Diabetes Institute andUniversity of Adelaide, followed witha presentation of the most up-to-datedata on the physiological impact ofSFA and TFA intakes. He concludedthat all types of TFA, both ruminantand industrial, elevate LDL cholesterollevels as do saturated fatty acids withthe exception of stearic acid. In thecase of the stearic acid, research todate shows that it has a neutral effectINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


REPORTS FROM THE REGIONon LDL cholesterol levels. Saturatedfats have also a potent effect in raisingHDL cholesterol, which TFA do not,even though it may be non-functionalHDL; thus more research on this topicis needed.Associate Prof David Cameron-Smithfrom Deakin University presentedon the inflammatory responses thathappen after a meal high in SFA and therole of inflammation in cardiovasculardisease. Dr Russell Keast from thesame university then presented somerecent data on the evidence aroundthe sixth taste; the fat taste whichis mediated via fatty acids. Dr Keastreported on a study in people where fattaste sensitivity was established, andshared that a probable mechanism isthrough satiety response - if a personis orally sensitive most probably theyare also sensitive in the gut. Dr Keastconcluded that fat taste sensitivity maybe associated with the developmentof overweight and obesity but morestudies are required to fully understandthe mechanisms.Ms Coral Colyer from the HeartFoundation gave an informativepresentation on the role of the “Tick”program in reducing SFA and TFA inthe food supply. The Heart Foundationhas been working with the foodindustry for 21 years to improve thenutritional profile of the food supply,especially in relation to type of fat. It’smission is to influence food companiesand outlets to create foods that meetthe Heart Foundation’s high nutritionstandards, to encourage consumers topurchase healthier foods and influencefood policy and legislation. The HeartFoundation also encourages the foodindustry to reformulate foods to reduceSFA and TFA by replacing with MUFAor PUFA and using ingredients withnegligible TFA, but not at the expenseof significantly increasing SFA.Providing perspectives from the foodindustry were Mr Bruce Perkin fromYum! Restaurants International,Ms Megan Cobcroft from UnileverAustralasia, Mr Chris Raworth from MarsSnackfoods and Mr Andrew Kennettfrom Arnott’s. Each of the industryspeakers discussed their companies’initiatives and achievements inproducing and offering healthier foodsto consumers by reducing the amountof SFA and TFA in their products.The symposium presentationsgenerated many questions from theaudience that were addressed duringtwo lively panel discussion sessions. Insummary, the symposium enabled acredible forum for the discussion ofthe most current findings on saturatedand trans fat research and possiblestrategies to aid in reducing their usein the food supply and their intake inthe general population. It also showedthat there is still much to be learnedfrom further research on this topic.Scientists, regulators and industry representatives who presented at the SymposiumINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION17


REPORTS FROM THE REGIONCurrent Status of Food Fortification in the PhilippinesILSI SEA Region Philippine Country Committee held a Symposium onFrontiers on Food Fortification: Where Are We Now? on March 25,2010, at EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong City. The objective ofthe Symposium was to provide a forum for discussing the latest trendsin food fortification technology, the current status of the SangkapPinoy Seal (SPS) Program, and the progress of rice fortification inthe Philippines. The Symposium was attended by more than 120participants from academia, food industry, and government.Mr Hector Maglalang, a Food FortificationSpecialist of USAID-AEDA2Z Project, first described thevarious types of fortification programs,namely, mass fortification, targetedfortification, market driven fortification,household and communityfortification, and biofortification,citing examples and objectives ofeach. Mr Maglalang then focused onthe current trends in fortification withiron, vitamin A, iodine, zinc, B vitamins,vitamins C and D, calcium andselenium, giving his recommendationson the most feasible compounds andsuitable food vehicles for these micronutrients,singly or in combination.Ms Ma Evelyn Carpio of the Food andDrug Administration (FDA) discussedthe status of the Sangkap Pinoy Seal(SPS) Program, a market-drivenvoluntary fortification of commonlyconsumed foods with vitamin A,iron and/or iodine that has been inoperation since 2000, together withthe guidelines for the food industryand monitoring process. Ms Carpiocited data from the National NutritionSurvey of 2003, which showed thesignificant contribution of the SPSprogram to the retinol intake ofpreschool children, estimated at about22% to 26% of their retinol intake.The last speaker was Dr ImeldaAgdeppa, an Assistant Scientist at theFood and Nutrition Research Institute(FNRI), who described the efforts ofFNRI in pursuing rice fortification inthe country, from laboratory scaleproduction, to efficacy studies,market trial and commercialization.Laboratory trials using coatingand extrusion technologies withferrous sulfate and micronized ironpyrophosphate, showed promise. TheRCT study showed the effectivenessof either technology in improvingthe iron status of school children.Technology transfer to a privaterice miller followed. The pilot scalecommercialization of the iron-fortifiedrice was then implemented in themunicipality of Orion, Bataan Province,with the help of the local government.The effectiveness study showed thepositive result of the social marketingstrategy and its use in improving ironstatus of mothers and 6-9 year oldchildren. Dr Agdeppa concluded that,through public-private partnership,commercialization of iron-fortifiedrice is feasible and a province-widerice fortification program is currentlybeing planned.ILSI SEA Region organized a Seminaron Obesity, Bioenergetics and Cancerfeaturing a presentation by ProfJohn Milner of the National CancerInstitute, USA, that was attended byover 70 participants from academia,Exploring the Links betweenObesity, Bioenergetics and Cancergovernment agencies, hospitals and food industries. The seminar was organized in collaboration with theLife Science Institute Toxicology Programme of the National University of Singapore as well as the SingaporeNutrition and Dietetics Association. The seminar was held at NUS Centre for Life Sciences on February 26, 2010Prof Milner started the seminar bysharing on the rising obesity incidenceand related disease conditions,including cardiovascular disease, type2 diabetes, hypertension and cancer.Obesity and body fatness have alsobeen linked with increased risk andmortality of certain cancers, and thereis a need to break the links betweenobesity and ill-health. To achievethis goal, it is key to measure the18significance of multiple, and sometimessubtle, bioenergetic changes and todevelop appropriate strategies for theirmanipulation.Genetic and environmental factorsare recognized to shepherd theunevenness between caloric intakeand energy expenditure that ultimatelydetermines energy storage and diseaselinkages. Genetics can influence ourresponse to diet and even influenceour food preferences and dietaryhabits. On the other hand, food canalso influence epigenetic processes,and bioactive food components mayplay a role in modifying the processesinvolved in disease pathogenesis. ProfMilner concluded that harnessing thisinformation into effective personalizedstrategies is of paramount importanceas one size indeed does not fit all.INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION


NEWS & UPDATESILSI SEA Region President Receives AwardMr Geoffry Smith, President of ILSI SEA Region,received a Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI)leadership award for his work to reduce irondeficiency anaemia from the chair of the FFIExecutive Management Team at the First AsiaPacific District Meeting and FFI workshop,August, Thailand. He was recognized for histireless global effort over a course of 15 yearsto make available sodium iron EDTA availablefor human consumption. Sodium iron EDTAis in a form highly bioavailable to human bodyand is now recommended by leading scientistsand global health organization as the best formof iron for fortifying high extraction flours andcondiments such as soy sauce and fish saucefor improvement of iron status.PublicationMeeting Report: Symposium on PlantPolyphenols - Nutrition, Health andInnovations, June 2009Nutrition Reviews, 2010;68 (4): 246-252.A Meeting Report of ILSI SEA Region’sSymposium on Plant Polyphenols:Nutrition, Health and Innovationsheld on June 22–23, 2009, in KualaLumpur, Malaysia has been publishedin the April 2010 issue of the journalNutrition Reviews The symposiumprovided a timely update of researchon plant polyphenols in relation totheir nutritive and health properties.Presentations covered polyphenolsfrom a wide range of food sourcessuch as tea, coffee, nuts and seeds,cocoa and chocolate, soy, andAsian fruits, vegetables, and spices.Protective effects of polyphenolsin chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer werehighlighted in this symposium together with the development ofinnovative polyphenol-containing food products. Issues relatedto claims regulation and consumer education were also discussed.This meeting report shared some of the highlights and importantinformation from the symposium.An abstract of the publication is available at www.ilsi.org/SEA_RegionCalendar ofRegional Activitiesand Programs 20103rd Quarter 2010Seminar and Workshop onNutrition Labeling, Claims andCommunication Strategies forthe ConsumerSeptember 20 – 21, 2010, KualaLumpur, MalaysiaScience and RegulatoryPerspectives on Stacked Eventsin Genetically-Modified CropsSeptember 20 -21, 2010, Bangkok,ThailandSeptember 22- 23, 2010, Jakarta,Indonesia4th Quarter 2010Symposium on Nutrition andCognition - Towards Researchand Application for DifferentLife StagesOctober 19 – 21, 2010, MalaysiaDietary Fiber Seminar andTraining WorkshopNovember 2010, Thailand (TBC)RDA and FBDG RoundtableDiscussionNovember 12, 2010, Thailand2nd Infant and Young ChildNutrition Expert ConsultationNovember 16 – 17, 2010, Philippines9th ASEAN Food Safety StandardsHarmonization WorkshopDecember 6 – 7, 2010, Singapore(TBC)INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGION19


NEWS & UPDATESUpcoming EventSymposium On Nutrition and CognitionCan what we eat affect the development of our brain and ourcognitive functions? Advances in research have increasinglyshown that nutrition may play a crucial role not only in thephysiological development of our brain even before birth,but also the development of our cognitive functions, mentalperformance and behavior throughout life.The potential for nutrition intervention to influence cognitivedevelopment from prenatal conception to cognitiveperformance at the later life stages is of great interest to researchers,food and beverage producers as well as consumers. In thisrespect, there is the need to establish evidence-based benefitsof nutrientsand food components for optimizing cognitive functions thatcan be substantiated through appropriate assessments tools. ols.However, despite the wide availability of methodologies andtools, many gaps and challenges remain in detecting andvalidating nutritional influences on cognitive functions.To address these issues, ILSI SEA Region is organizing ga comprehensive 2 1/2-day Symposium on Nutrition& Cognition: Towards Research and Application forDifferent Life Stages from October 19 – 21, 2010 in Kuala aLumpur Malaysia to:• Share the state-of-the-art knowledge on the relationshipbetween nutrition and cognition• Highlight current methodologies in assessing cognitivefunctions, and explore their applicability for differentpopulation groups and life stages• Discuss issues relating to scientific substantiation ofcognition related claims• Consider consumer understanding of nutritionalinfluences on cognitionThis Symposium will bring together scientists, researchersand experts in an exciting forum to initiate discussion,advance understanding, spur research and inspireapplications, with specific focus on Asian populations.Visit http://www.ilsi.org/SEA_Region/Pages/NutritionCognition.aspx tionCognition aspx for more details on theSymposium’s Program, Exhibit and Registration.Or, email the Symposium Secretariat at nutritioncognition@ilsisea.org.sgVisit us at www.ilsi.org to find out more about our upcoming activities and programs.20ILSI SOUTHEAST ASIA REGIONRegional Office9 Mohamed Sultan Road, #02-01 Singapore 238959Tel: (65) 6352 5220 Fax: (65) 6352 5536Email: ilsisea@singnet.com.sgAUSTRALASIACountry Office416 High Street, Kew, Victoria 3101, AustraliaTel: (613) 9852 7755 Fax: (613) 9852 8833Email: ilsi@ghapl.com.auINTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE SOUTH EAST ASIA REGIONThe information contained in this newsletter does not necessarily reflect the views of ILSI or ILSI Southeast Asia Region. Although every effort is made to ensure that theinformation is accurate at the time of publication, ILSI or ILSI Southeast Asia Region does not accept responsibility for the consequences of any errors or omissions.

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