Nestlé Nutrition Institute workshop focuses on micronutrient deficiencies

Mar 21, 2011
Mexican girls drinking milk FORTIFIED MILK: In Mexico, where many children suffer from nutritional deficiencies, milks are fortified with iron, zinc and vitamin A.

International nutrition experts will meet at a Nestlé Nutrition Institute (NNI) workshop next week to discuss the latest scientific research into the global burden of micronutrient deficiencies.

The three-day event in the Philippines – which starts on March 27 – will be coordinated by the NNI to examine the impact of low dietary intakes of essential vitamins and minerals on populations’ health and development.

Leading independent scientists and clinicians in the fields of malnutrition and fortification will present studies with a particular focus on child health in developing countries.

Ferdinand Haschke, Chairman of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute, explained the purpose of the workshop.

He said: “The NNI is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a world-class overview of the most critical nutritional issues of the day.

The Nestlé Nutrition Institute is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a world-class overview of the most critical nutritional issues of the day. Ferdinand Haschke, Chairman of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute

“More than two billion people worldwide – around 30% of the global population – are estimated to have some degree of micronutrient deficiency, which can have devastating effects on health.

“This workshop will look at the extent and nature of the burden of micronutrient deficiencies, why they arise, approaches to address them, and what the public health benefits would be if they could be prevented.”

The workshop in the Philippines is the latest in more than 100 global conferences organised by the NNI over the past 30 years to encourage the exchange of information between scientists and healthcare professionals on nutrition-related topics.

Research presented over the three-day event will be made available in specific formats for different audiences, as part of the Institute’s commitment to promoting the continuous education of healthcare providers.

The findings will be published in full in the Nestlé Nutrition Institute Workshop Book Series, which documents every workshop held by the organisation. A selection of the research will also appear in the NNI’s pediatric journal Annales Nestlé, and its scientific journal The Nest.

In addition, the majority of workshop sessions will be webcast live via the NNI website

The recordings will be available on demand a few months after the event, giving people the opportunity to email questions to the expert speaker and receive a personalised response.

Nestlé Nutrition Institute logo

Re-launched last month, the interactive NNI website has more than 100,000 registered users, who can access a vast medical and scientific library, educational materials and e-learning tools.

Currently in English only, the website will be available in five other languages – Spanish, German, Russian, French, Portuguese and Chinese - by the end of 2011.

The NNI is the world’s largest private publisher of nutritional information - much of which is listed in Medline (the US National Library of Medicine's premier bibliographic database) as highly reliable life sciences reference literature.

Micronutrient deficiencies
The four most prominent micronutrient deficiencies worldwide concern iron, vitamin A, iodine and zinc.

Ideally, these essential nutrients should be obtained from a normal, varied diet. However, for a number of reasons many people do not consume a healthy balanced diet.

While developing countries are most severely affected, the problem is widespread, and micronutrient deficiencies are also significant in certain populations within industrialised countries.

Nestlé has more than 140 years’ experience in enhancing the micronutrient profile of food products through fortification. Its first fortified product was an iron-enriched version of Henri Nestlé’s original infant cereal (Farine Lactée), launched in 1867.

Today, the Company has a range of products fortified with micronutrients such as iron and vitamin A, to help improve the nutritional status of consumers around the world.

Related information:
Micronutrient fortification