Summary of a Scientific Conference on Preventive Nutrition: Pediatrics to Geriatrics
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The Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association, with cooperation and support from the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, convened a scientific conference on “Preventive Nutrition: Pediatrics to Geriatrics” in Salt Lake City, Utah, 1997. Other sponsors in this endeavor were the American Cancer Society, American Dietetic Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Division of Nutrition Research Coordination of the National Institutes of Health, and American Society for Clinical Nutrition. The participants of the conference were asked to review the dietary recommendations from several health agencies and the scientific evidence in support of the recommendations and to describe how their commonalities make them appropriate as effective preventive health measures against the major chronic diseases (coronary heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes) for particular age and ethnic groups. Dietary recommendations have been published by each of the above-named health agencies. These recommendations deal with primary prevention. The participants were asked to participate because of their expertise in basic and applied nutrition research and education.
To ensure that the goals of the meeting were effectively met, the plenary session consisted of 18 speakers with expertise in their respective fields. They reviewed the science base for nutrient/disease interactions in the causation of cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, and diabetes. For each of these chronic diseases, nutrition interactions were addressed from both the epidemiological and clinical perspectives and the biochemical and molecular mechanisms by which specific nutrients are linked to disease. Other speakers and experts were selected to participate in 1 of 4 specific population committees that addressed recommendations targeted to the elderly, women, children, and minorities. They reviewed the available information and identified research needs and gaps in existing recommendations directly relevant to the respective subpopulation. The summary reports from each of these groups are presented later …