Healthy and sustainable diets: synergies and trade-offs
4th International Master class to broaden disciplinary thinking in agriculture, food sciences, nutrition and health to arrive at a disciplinary research perspective on healthy and sustainable diets. It aims to contribute to synergy between scientific disciplines, applied research and stakeholders along the food supply chain.
The global burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs, e.g. obesity, diabetes, CVD, malignancies), infectious diseases (e.g. malaria, measles), and the ‘double burden of disease’ in both Western and Low & Middle Income Countries (LMIC) call for a diet shift towards increased nutrient density and lowered energy density. Moreover, because of the current climate concerns and the growing world population this diet shift should go hand-in-hand with reducing environmental footprints of food production (e.g., GHG-emissions, land use). These public health and environmental concerns necessitate to change both dietary patterns and to increase the efficiency of plant- & animal-based food production, processing, and distribution systems. These societal challenges are recognized by governments and supply chain actors at national and global levels. For research, this transition requires evaluation of synergies and potential trade-offs between nutritional health, environmental sustainability, and social inclusiveness, together with cost-effective intervention strategies and policies, e.g. food reformulation and procurement; food prices, taxes and subsidies; FBDGs, food labelling, and communication. This requires a food systems approach, that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration and involvement of societal actors at the micro-, meso- and macro- level of the food system.
The course welcomes PhD candidates and post-docs, as well as professionals from industry and research centres. It will build on insights from environmental, biomedical and social sciences; nutrition, epidemiology, food science, agricultural, ecological and behavioural sciences, etc. Basic scientific knowledge on concepts and methods and study designs in qualitative and quantitative research is assumed.
The course uses a food systems approach to sustainably address societal challenges in food and nutrition security, under- and over-nutrition, global health and environmental protection. It aims to broaden disciplinary thinking in agriculture, food sciences, nutrition and health and to appreciate interdisciplinary research perspectives. Moreover, to arrive at a viable food system, it aims to contribute to synergy between scientific disciplines, applied research and stakeholders along the food supply chain.
After participation the participant:
- Appreciates the interdisciplinary concept of sustainability, the relevance and contributions of disciplines beyond his/her own expertise, and the role of stakeholders including consumers.
- Has a deepened understanding of the key scientific and societal issues relevant to advancing healthy and sustainable food systems (agricultural production, global burden of disease, environmental protection).
- Is inspired to contribute to a systems approach in his/her future career in scientific research and/or societal innovation; understands what this implies for conduct of research and data stewardship.
- Knows to use systems thinking to critically evaluate current research on sustainable and healthy diets and can suggest useful directions for research, food chain actors and policy makers.
The course consists of lectures, data practicals, and discussions with stakeholders and faculty.
- Current knowledge base: Lectures to obtain an overview of food systems and population health; assessment and evaluation of environmental sustainability and health impact of current dietary patterns and dietary changes.
- Food systems: lectures to understand the principles and indicators of healthy diets, global health and environmental sustainability; basic and advanced optimization methods. Policy alternatives, spatial heterogeneity, foresight and scenarios.
- Practical work: gain a critical attitude by performing basic calculations of the impact of dietary changes on nutritional health and sustainability.
- Societal debate with public and private sector stakeholders in the food system: Balancing health with social, ecological, and economic sustainability.
- Research needs: filling research gaps, advancing methodology, enabling research infrastructures, data stewardship.
Optional one-day extension of the Masterclass:
- Participants who want to acquire a deeper understanding of modelling diets, amongst others through linear programming, can sign-up for an extra day where they can perform supervised analysis of data made available by the course faculty staff.
- Prof Pieter van ‘t Veer, Wageningen University & Research, Division of Human Nutrition and Health
- Dr Kasper Hettinga, Wageningen University & Research, Food Quality and Design Group
- Dr Sander Biesbroek, Wageningen University & Research, Division of Human Nutrition and Health
- Dr Jochem Jonkman, VLAG Graduate School, Wageningen University & Research
- Internationally recognised expert(s) in food systems research will provide keynote lectures and inspire discussions (names to be confirmed). Confirmed key note lectures from Prof Liisa Lähteenmäki, an expert on consumer behaviour at Aarhus University (Denmark), Department of Management (MAPP)-Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector.
- Prof Pieter van ’t Veer & Dr Sander Biesbroek, Wageningen University, Division of Human Nutrition and Health, and Dr Elisabeth Temme, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment & Wageningen University.
- Prof Thom Huppertz & Dr Kasper Hettinga, Wageningen University, Food Quality and Design group
- Dr Argyris Kanellopoulos, Wageningen University, Operations Research and Logistics.
- Researchers from European and global projects, e.g. Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security (SUSFANS), Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), diet modelling (SHARP, thesis), etc.
- Academic research and teaching staff from Wageningen University and Research
Date & duration
The course will be held from June 26th (1.00 pm) to June 28th (1.00 pm ). The one-day extension with supervised quantitative data analysis is scheduled on June 28th-June 29th (1.00 pm).
The study load of this course is 0.8 ECTS credits; the optional extension with quantitative analysis adds another 0.5 ECTS credits.
The course language will be English.
Dr Jochem Jonkman
VLAG Graduate School
Wageningen UR Courier nr. 184
P.O. Box 17
6700 AA Wageningen
Phone: +31 317 489549
Location & accommodation
Lectures will be given at the campus of Wageningen University & Research.
Wageningen is located 5 kms from the train station of Ede-Wageningen. This railway station can be reached by train from the airport Schiphol in about one hour. Accommodations in Wageningen should be arranged separately. The information below will be updated, you can already have a look at the options listed below:
Registration and important date
To register, go to https://vlag.crs.wur.nl/courses/details/349/
The number of participants is limited to 30. Previous editions of the course were fully booked in a short period of time.
Final date for registration Friday 2 June 2023.
The course fee, which includes downloadable materials, coffe/tea during breaks, lunches and a course dinner, depends on the participant's affiliation. Note that the course fee does not cover accommodation.
|June 26-28 (base programme)||June 26-29 (incl. optional extension)|
|Study load||0.8 ECTS||1.3 ECTS|
|WUR PhD candidates affiliated with VLAG, EPS, WIMEK, WASS, WIAS, PE&RC||€ 175||€ 225|
|All other PhD candidates||€ 400||€ 450|
|Postdocs and staff affiliated with VLAG||€ 400||€ 450|
|All other Postdocs and university staff, and non-profit organisations||€ 525||€ 625|
|Industry / for-profit organisations||€ 800||€ 1200|
Applicants will be informed of acceptance of their registration if possible within two weeks after their registration, but at latest a day after the final registration date. They will then receive instructions for payment, a notice of acceptance and further course details.
After acceptance of your registration, the VLAG Cancellation Conditions for course participants will apply.