Obesity must be acknowledged as a disease

Long-term studies on prevention, behavior, and other priorities like integrated scientific research and education are needed to solve the global obesity epidemic according to scientists focused on remedying this pressing health problem. Their recommendations are the result of a three-day research summit organized by the Institute of Food Technologists, the not-for-profit international scientific society.

Results from the IFT Research Summit are published in this month’s issue of IFT’s flagship Food Technology magazine, available online at http://www.ift.org/foodtechnology.

The participating experts recognize obesity must be acknowledged as a disease. Ways to enhance short- and long-term weight management will require a better understanding of obesity in prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition they say. Collaboration among public and private sectors is necessary.

The scientists urge focused effort on technological advancements allowing for more precise and valuable diagnostic and monitoring tools such as personal devices for measuring caloric and nutritive intake and energy expenditure.

Identifying reliable long-term behavioral and biological indicators of obesity risk are needed, as are the motivations behind choosing foods and choosing when to stop eating. Once food-related behavior is better understood, more effective modification strategies can be established according to the scientists.

The influence of food taste, texture and form on satiety must be better understood. Identifying whether successful, sustainable weight-control interventions can be achieved through food formulation should be a priority. Genetic, metabolic, and physiological factors that may contribute to obesity and the interrelationship of genes and the environment is important.

This is the third IFT Research Summit by IFT’s Office of Science, Communications and Government Relations. Summit details including presentations are here: http://www.ift.org/cms/?pid=1000374.

Food Technology is published monthly by IFT, providing news and analysis of the development, use, quality, safety, and regulation of food sources, products, and processes.

Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 28,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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