8th DIETS - EFAD conference: Understanding sweetness

Sweeteners | 11 October 2014

The 8th edition of the DIETS-EFAD Conference took place in Athens, Greece, from 9th to the 12th October 2014. Organised by the European Federation of the association of Dieticians, the theme of the conference was Health 2020: Supporting Vulnerable Groups.

The European Food Information Council and the Hellenic Dietetic Association chaired a symposium on Understanding sweetness: translating the science into everyday practice for dietitians. The 4 videos examine our relationship with sweetness, including the evolutionary adaptations behind our liking of sweetness and how they now affect our lives. The speakers present the dietitians' views on low calorie sweeteners and their role in our diets, our attitudes to and our perceptions of sugar throughout history, and the biology behind what makes food enjoyable.

Understanding sweetness: translating the science into everyday practice for dietitians

Introduction

Speaker biography

Dr Milka Sokolović

Dr Milka Sokolović

Dr Milka Sokolović, born in Belgrade, Serbia, holds a degree in Biology from the University of Belgrade, and a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Amsterdam. She has conducted academic research for fifteen years, mainly in systems biology of metabolic adaptations to starvation, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, at the University of Amsterdam. Milka has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and has held dozens of scientific presentations. Since 2007, she has also worked as a university lecturer, teaching medical biochemistry, DNA technology, metabolism, systems medicine, and genomics of disease. Milka joined EUFIC in 2013 as Head of Nutrition and Health, to support Nutrition and Health and EU-funded projects.


Dietitians and sweetness: negotiating replacement and reduction

Speaker biography

Prof. Julie Barnett

Prof. Julie Barnett

Julie Barnett is a Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Bath. She is a social psychologist with particular interest and expertise around food allergy and intolerance, risk appreciation, risk communication, the development and use of health technology, the maintenance and change of behaviour, public engagement processes and how social science informs policy development. Current work is exploring the information requirements of those with food allergy and intolerance when eating out, the interface between patients and health practitioners in the use of health technology, the use of big data for policy making, and the role of empathy and trust in online settings. Over the last ten years she has been part of a range of largely interdisciplinary projects funded by UK research councils, the EU, charities and UK government departments and agencies. An example is the myPace project in which also EUFIC is a partner. Prof Barnett is co-founder of Vizzata.


Sweetness, pleasure, morality and science

Speaker biography

Prof. Claude Fischler

Prof. Claude Fischler

Claude Fischler is a Directeur de recherche emeritus at CNRS, the national research agency of France and the President of AFSH (Association Française pour une Science de l'Homme), an interdisciplinary social science research organization. His main area of research is an interdisciplinary perspective on food and nutrition. Early on, he became interested in sweetness. He developed comparative surveys of attitudes toward food, health and risk across cultures, on the reception and perception of sensitive technologies and on the assessment and measurement of well-being and happiness. 
He served on the Scientific Committee of the French Agency for Food Safety and on its board of directors, on the steering committee of the French National Program on Nutrition and Health, on the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association and is a member of the Advisory Group on Risk Communication of the European Food Safety Authority.


What makes food enjoyable? Are there addictive aspects to food?

Speaker biography

Prof. Julian Mercer

Prof. Julian Mercer

Julian Mercer has more than 20 years of experience in obesity-related research and is currently Theme leader of Obesity and Metabolic Health research at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, and a member of the Institute's Executive Committee. He is currently a work package leader ('Consumer choice, diet and health') in the Scottish Government's 'Healthy, Safe diets' strategic research programme. He is also co-ordinator of the 'Full4Health' project ('Understanding food-gut-brain mechanisms across the lifespan in the regulation of hunger and satiety for health'), and a partner in two EU FP7-funded projects, NeuroFAST ('The integrated neurobiology of food intake, addiction and stress') and SATIN ('SATiety Innovation'). He is currently Editor-in-chief of Journal of Neuroendocrinology.