Health and wellness knowledge platform, Happiest Health is hosting ‘The Edge of Nutrition 2023, a two-day summit at St John’s Auditorium, where over 600 health-conscious individuals gathered to hear doctors and nutrition experts discuss the critical role of nutrition in disease prevention and health management. With a focus on personalized nutrition and debunking nutritional myths, the event aimed to educate, inspire and foster collaboration in the field.
The nutrition summit opened with the keynote address by Dr. Anura Kurpad, Professor of Physiology, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru, speaking on metabolic obesity, busted myths around superfoods, and more. He highlighted the importance of dietary choices and their impact on overall health and well-being and cautioned people against following “fad diets”. He maintained that they were better off reducing the calorie intake, while improving the quality of food. He also stated that there was no “super food” and advised people to avoid “ultra-processed food” that gets easily absorbed by the body and has high energy density.
“So my message would be to eat less carbohydrates, eat home-cooked food, eat sustainably…. everything in moderation. And finally, keep targets simple,” he said and added that the right diet can help reduce the rate of aging.
Dr. Nandan Joshi, Head of Medical Affairs – Nutrition, India and Emerging Markets at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, enlightened us on healthy aging is a continuous process of maintaining and improving physical and mental health and quality of life throughout the life course. Emphasising on the significance of a balanced protein intake in promoting healthy aging processes, he said healthy muscles translated into healthy aging. He stressed on the importance of resistance training to maintain the muscle mass and tone. “Given that Indians have lower muscle mass, the right amount of protein is a must to maintain muscles, which are important for not just mobility, but also for metabolic function,” he said and recommended starting a food diary to keep track of protein intake to begin with.
Dr. Sridevi, CFTRI Director delved on the million-dollar question in nutrition, “What is the best source of natural and healthy proteins, is it plant-based or animal proteins?” Batting for menu diversity, she said that animal protein is easier to digest, as the animal has already digested the plant protein, and also contains the required proportion of essential amino acid. However, plant protein has fibre, healthier fat profile, required phytonutrients and is environmentally friendly, and this makes it more attractive than animal protein.
Ryan Fernando, Expert Sports Nutritionist and Food Educator, spoke on how Nutrigenomics determine individual nutritional needs and identifies how individuals respond variably to the same nutrient. “If you can learn the language of your genes and control the messages and instructions they give your body and your metabolism, you can radically alter how food interacts with your body,” he said and added that genetic testing was akin to crystal ball gazing and key to understanding the body better.
Speaking at the summit, Anindya Chowdhury, CEO and President, Happiest Health, gave the inaugural note, “This summit is a testament to our commitment to bring together exceptional minds in the field of nutrition. We have curated an exceptional lineup of leading experts, researchers and visionaries who are at the forefront of groundbreaking advancements in nutrition. They are sharing their invaluable insights and expertise with all of you.
We have meticulously curated a diverse range of captivating topics for this extraordinary event. From uncovering the power of personalized nutrition through nutrigenomics to understanding the importance of proteins in healthy ageing, to nurturing our children’s health through proper nutrition—each session is designed to empower you with knowledge and insights that will transform your approach to nutrition.”
India is facing an upcoming epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which cause 63% of all deaths in India. Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues are on the rise, primarily due to lifestyle-related causes such as inactivity and unhealthy diet. ‘The Edge of Nutrition’ is an event designed to tackle this alarming issue by raising awareness about the role of personalised nutrition in disease prevention and health management. We live with many ill-advised cultural notions of what is healthy nutrition, and it is time for the healthcare industry to take up the responsibility of educating people about the latest research and development so that we achieve a healthier nation.
Participants also had the chance to embark on a culinary adventure with the food extravaganza: Eatopia – 2023. They got to explore a range of delicious and nutritious food offerings across the many experiential food zones.
Day 1 of the summit successfully raised awareness about the importance of personalized nutrition and the role of nutrigenomics in achieving it, while providing a unique platform for networking and collaboration among stakeholders in the nutrition and health industries to exchange knowledge and envision a healthier future.
In line with the intent to become the leading forum that empowers citizens with up-to-date nutrition and health information to take charge of their own personal health and well-being, ‘The Edge of Nutrition’ will be an annual event.