Article: Nutrition Challenges of our Times


December 15, 2016

Major changes have occurred in the global diet in recent years. In the past, malnutrition and infectious diseases were of primary concern. They remain a challenge but today we also face an emerging trend towards over-nutrition and chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer.

Nutrition transition has made fast-food, which are high in fats and simple sugars, the preferred menu for millions of individuals around the world and, in particular, for growing percentages of populations in developing countries. More and more processed foods are available while foods made from natural, locally-grown produce are disappearing.

As we better understand how diet affects our health, it is clear that drastic dietary changes must be made. This important issue was discussed and studied from different aspects in the MASHAV professional international training course NUTRITION IN A CHANGING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT. Twenty nutrition and health professionals from 11 countries, such as Armenia, Colombia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Moldova and Vietnam, participated in the course that was held in November and December 2016 in Israel at the Hebrew University's International School of Agricultural Sciences on the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment campus in Rehovot. 

The participants learned about nutrition throughout the life-cycle of infants, children, adolescents, mothers, adults and the elderly; understanding evidence-based nutrition and other topics such as: the obesity epidemic, malnutrition, functional foods, and Nutrigenomics, the science of how nutrients interact with genes.