Mérieux Foundation co-organized event

6th Better Foods for Better Health – Childhood nutrition: building a healthy life

20 - 22 March 2018 - Les Pensieres Center for Global Health, Veyrier-du-Lac (France)


6th Better Foods for Better Health Symposium

Good nutrition is essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, performance, productivity, health and well-being across the entire life-span: from the earliest stages of fetal development, at birth, and through infancy, childhood, adolescence and on into adulthood.

Breastfeeding and complementary feeding are a critical aspect of caring for infants and young children. Appropriate feeding practices stimulate bonding with the caregiver and psycho-social development. They lead to improved nutrition and physical growth, reduced susceptibility to common childhood illnesses and better resistance to cope with them. Improved health outcomes in young children have long-lasting health effects throughout the life-span, including increased performance and productivity, and reduced risk of certain non-communicable diseases.

The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding include the production of technical information, the development of feeding recommendations, supporting research and designing training materials.

Protecting health and combatting disease can be achieved through improved nutrition, innovation and increased dialogue between the scientific community, regulatory, academy and industry stakeholders. In this respect, the 6th edition of the « Better Foods for Better Health” symposium, organized by Fondation Mérieux with the support of Mérieux NutriSciences, gathered global experts from the public and private sectors linked to agriculture and the food industry and involved in the promotion and improvement of infant and young child feeding.

The primary aim of the meeting was to present the context of infant and childhood nutrition, as well as the challenges and unmet needs in both low and middle income countries and industrialized countries with a particular focus on obesity and malnutrition, infections, allergy, and the emerging field linking nutrition and behaviour.
By fostering exchanges between various relevant stakeholders, this symposium provided a platform to discuss the need for new and harmonized tools to assess nutrition efficiency and safety in children.

Find out more about Better Foods for Better Health Symposium

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Day 1 Tuesday, March 20

Day 2 Wednesday, March 21

Day 3 Thursday, March 22

  • 6:15pm - 7:00pm

    Keynote lecture: Assessment and control of nutritional deficiencies diseases

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Session 1: Growth & metabolism

The early impact of food on children’s growth & metabolism and how to prevent malnutrition and metabolic diseases

Chair: Patrick J. STOVER

  • 8:30am - 9:00am

    Dietary reference intakes around distinct nutritional needs

    Patrick J. STOVER

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  • 9:30am - 10:00am

    Dairy intake and bone growth during childhood

    Joseph M. KINDLER

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  • 10:00am - 10:30am

    How to assess nutrition and provide practical recommendations to the family


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  • 11:00am - 12:30pm

    Roundtable 1: socio-economical and regulatory issues in relation to children nutrition

    Moderator: Patrick J. STOVER

Session 2 - Immunity, allergy & infections

Immune status and susceptibility to allergy & infections. Role of diet and specific ingredient strategies


  • 2:15pm - 2:45pm

    Determinants of allergenicity and modulation of allergies. Rationale for perinatal intervention. Prebiotics example

    Marie BODINIER

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  • 2:45pm - 3:15pm

    Links between malnutrition & intestinal infections in children from LMICs: The MAL-ED longitudinal birth cohort study

    Mark MILLER

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  • 3:15pm - 3:45pm

    The gut microbiome: an emerging modifiable risk factor for improving immune function and child health

    Saurabh MEHTA

  • 4:15pm - 5:45pm

    Roundtable 2: Immune fortification and allergy control strategies, regulatory issues (new ingredients and medical food) and interventional approaches using connecting devices

    Moderator: Mark MILLER

  • 6:15pm - 6:45pm

    Nutritional challenges for children in China

    Wei CAI

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Session 3: Diet & behavior

Links between diet, microbiota and behavioral changes: preclinical, clinical and epidemiological studies

Chair: Maureen BLACK

  • 8:30am - 9:00am

    Links between nutrition & cognition in children

    Maureen BLACK

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  • 9:00am - 9:30am

    The microbiota-gut-brain axis in health and diseases of the newborn

    Michel NEUNLIST

  • 10:00am - 10:45am

    Roundtable 3: the nutritional impact on cognitive and behavioral performance

    Moderator: Louise DYE

  • 10:45am - 11:30am

    Closing Lecture: Nutrition of the future

    Ben van OMMEN

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  • 11:30am - 12:00pm

    Concluding discussion