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Past Events

Past Webinars

Background

As a follow-up to two previous webinars on ultra-processed foods, this webinar focused on what is needed in terms of policy. This webinar took place in collaboration with the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival. Scheduled from March 11 to 17, 2024, the festival aimed to involve youth in driving transformative change for addressing current challenges in Europe and unlocking the bioeconomy's potential.

Short Recap

The webinar delved into the complexities surrounding Ultra-Processed Foods (UPF) and their role in our food systems and the bioeconomy. Key points raised included the need for transparent data for policy-making, the tension between profit margins and sustainability for food retailers, and the complexity of influencing consumer behavior towards healthier choices. There was an emphasis on the importance of systemic approaches.

The event also featured a career session aimed at delving into the diverse and inspiring career paths of experienced policymakers and bioeconomy experts.

Relevant links

You can acces the recordings and presentations below.

Background

Every year on October 16th, the United Nations celebrates World Food Day. This year’s theme is “Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind”, focusing on the importance of water resources on food systems preservation and ensuring its equal distribution all over the world. Especially with the challenges of the current food system landscape, a systems approach is needed where governments, institutions, and researchers work together. Their call to action is to enhance knowledge and evidence-based policy recommendations that capitalize on data, innovation and cross-sectoral coordination. This gives the opportunity to better plan water management, incentivise farmers, and involve the private sector to cooperate in integrated solutions for a more efficient and less waste of water use.

With a growing population, there is a higher demand for food, animal feed and biofuel. Together we need to ensure that the food supply chain becomes more sustainable by, amongst other things, using less water. This means decreasing the use of water during the production, but also decreasing food waste so there is less water waste and finding safe ways to reuse it while preventing water pollution. However, it is also essential that we ensure that food products remain nutritious, safe, and affordable to consume while using and wasting less water. For this occasion, the joint programming initiative ‘Healthy Diet, Healthy Life’ (HDHL), has organised a special webinar on 16th of October 2023. HDHL will use this opportunity to bring together representatives from a health, food, or systemic perspective as well as researchers, policymakers, and other institutes.

Short Recap

On this year's World Food Day, we delved into the topic of food, water, and sustainability. The theme, "Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind" illuminated the critical role water resources play in global food systems.
Our special webinar brought together experts from diverse fields - health, food, and systems perspectives, as well as researchers and policymakers. The consensus? A systems approach is imperative. The full event was moderated by Wouter Spek.
FAO's Lorenzo Bellù stressed the need for radical transformation, with both social and technological innovation at its core. Kremlin Wickramasinghe of World Health Organization echoed the call for systems thinking.
But it doesn't end there. The webinar featured enlightening discussions, good practices, and a call to action to experiment and innovate from SYSTEMIC, Water4Agrifood initiative, Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), JPI Oceans, and HDHL.

Relevant links

You can acces the full recording and presentations of the different speakers below.

After a very sucessful first webinar on the topic 'Ultra-processed foods', we are currently organising a follow-up webinar in the form of a panel discussion with key experts on the topic. This to shine a more balanced light on ultra- processed foods from various perspectives and to explore the latest scientific insights into the health, food and practical implementation aspects. Questions that were asked during the first webinar will be included in this webinar. If you missed the first webinar, no problem! You can easily join this webinar or rewatch the first webinar here.

Relevant Links
Background

The term ultra-processed foods often ignites strong opinions and even controversies. HDHL organised a webinar with key experts on the topic, to shine a more balanced light on ultra- processed foods from various perspectives and to explore the latest scientific insights into health, equity and sustainability. Questions such as what are the advantages and disadvantages? What is the role of ultra-processed foods from a health equity perspective? These and more were addressed during the upcoming HDHL webinar.

Relevant Links
Background

The 2nd webinar of the joint programming initiative Healthy Diet, Healthy Life took place on January 31, 2023 and adressed the instant relevant topic Food (in)security due to crisis. The webinar was moderated by one of our SAB members, Prof. Karsten Kohler from the Technical University of Munich. There were two speakers Dr. Megan Blake and Prof. Corinna Hawkes. Dr. Hugo de Vries (INRAE) joined during the pannel discussion to go more in depth about the topic.

Recap Presentation Dr. Megan Blake

The presentation from Dr. Megan Blake will entail the Food Ladders approach which aims to provide a framework for communities to understand what kind of support they are providing and then work toward building local capability to create self-organised transformation in food systems, nutritional health, mental health and well-being. Capability enhancement helps repair the individual and community damage caused by the experiences of food insecurity and is a vital rung in the ladder. She futhermore set out the damage caused by food insecurity in communities, outlined the Food Ladders framework, and, drawn from the UK context, provided some examples of local interventions that enhance capabilities leading toward transformation.

Recap Presentation Prof. Corinna Hawkes

Prof. Corinna Hawkes focused on (1) how the current food security crisis threatens to amplify our existing health crisis of dietary inequalities; and (2) why policy and actions to address dietary inequalities in this context must consider the full picture of people’s realities in order to be effective and equitable. The context is that the world is experiencing the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation. Crises have always highlighted inequities in our societies. With food prices at near record levels globally, rapidly rising inflation, and economic instability, many people living in situations of constraint have no choice but to skip meals, reduce the amount they eat, prepare meals with fewer nutritious foods, and buy cheaper, starchy staples and ultra-processed foods. The implications for health inequalities are dire: increased dietary disparities will worsen food insecurity, malnutrition, obesity, and diet- related disease among those who are struggling most. The presentation will present the Food Realities Jigsaw as a way of highlighting the situation will only be effectively addressed if it takes people’s lived experiences of the food crisis into account.

Relevant Links

You can access the full recording and presentations below. 

Background

The 1st webinar of the Joint programming initiative Healthy Diet, Healthy Life took place on December 1, 2022 and more that 150 people attended online to gain more insight in Changing dietary behaviour: from individual to collective levers to accelerate the transition to healthy and sustainable diets. The participants represented a wide variety of stakeholders in the area of food, nutrition and health and came together to discuss how to shift dietary behaviour collectively towards more healthy and sustainable diets.

Short Recap

The webinar started with an introduction from the coordinator Jessie Doppler, followed by a welcome word of the moderator Laura Fernández (Chair of our Stakeholder Advisory Board). Thereafter, four presentations were given by Daniela Luth, Mario Mazzocchi, Paula Varela-Tomasco, and Janas Harrington.

Relevant links

You can acces the full recording and presentations below.

Past Workshops

Background

The workshop “The (im)possible coherence? – Science-Policy, Blockages and Transformation” aimed to contribute to understanding the evolving role of science-based policy advice, along with the dynamics of science-policy and science-society interfaces in organising such advice. The aim was furhtermore to understand the role of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in science advice and how it can contribute to the governance of science-policy interfaces.

Report

The summary report, written by Cristobal Marin Rojas from the FACCE-JPI Secretariat, provides an in-depth overview of the contributions of the guest speakers and of the interactive activity that followed, in which participants were split into groups and encouraged to collaboratively reflect on what attracts or repels policymakers, identify incentives and barriers they face, draw lessons from case studies, determine metrics for measuring success, and think about how can FACCE-JPI and HDHL facilitate achieving coherence in the intersection between science and research.

Relevant links
  • The full report is available here.
  • The video recordings of the guest speakers are available here.
Background

COVID-19 turned into a global pandemic fast and might be here to stay for the foreseeable future. There are many links between food systems and COVID-19, and within this broader context there seems to be a strong relation between diet, nutrition and the virus. On the one hand, obesity and diet-related disease appear to significantly increase the risks of COVID-19. At the same time, measures implemented because of the pandemic, such as mandatory lockdowns, are impacting people’s everyday behaviour, including diet and physical activity. That is why HDHL organised an online workshop on June 17, 2020, titled ‘Food, nutrition, physical activity and COVID-19: defining what we know and still need to know in the research area of HDHL’. We were joined by around 150 participants from all over Europe during the course of the workshop.

Relavant links

You can access the full recording and presentation below. 

Background

On the 13th of May 2015, during the EXPO 2015 in Milan, the European Joint Programming Initiatives on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) and Healthy Diet, Healthy Life (HDHL) organized the "Grand Debate on Nutrition Security – a whole system approach".

Recap

The Grand Debate, supported by the European Commission, focussed on the impact of climate change on providing a sustainable food supply that has the nutritional requirements to ensure a healthy population. The Grand Debate aimed to bring together approximately 100 leading researchers, policy makers and politicians to:

  • Facilitate a dialogue between international and national stakeholders to deepen our understanding of the challenge we are facing in providing future generations with a sustainable and nutritious food supply thereby ensuring a healthy population.
  • Identify the role that both Initiatives and their Member States can play in tackling this societal challenge through the articulation of the research questions that should be addressed both individually and collaboratively by the Initiatives.
Relevant links

You can find the key messages of the grand debate here.

Past Conferences

Background

The 6th international conference of the joint programming initiative Healthy Diet, Healthy Life took place digitally on April 20 and 21, 2021. We welcomed over 250 users in our digital conference platform over these 2 days. The conference was themed 10 years of JPI HDHL: supporting the connection between food and health towards a systemic approach.

In 2020 we reached a milestone: 10 years of JPI HDHL. The 6th international conference offered the perfect opportunity to discuss with our stakeholders how we can build on our experiences and achievements. While there are many lessons to be learned and shared, one of the main recurring issues is how nutrition often falls in the gap between the themes of health and food. HDHL stands for the need to bridge that gap, to ensure that nutrition research and policy receives the attention it deserves. This is part of the urgent, broader call for a food systems approach. Therefore, during the conference we explored how a systemic approach could be implemented to create more impact; what does this mean for scientists? What does it mean at a policy level? And how could we better connect the two? Through topical keynotes, a panel, workshops and informal discussions we covered these and other questions relevant to the future of food, nutrition and health research.

Short recap

During the conference we celebrated our 10-year anniversary and looked towards the future. HDHL presented two new publications that provide a short overview of our work and some key moments:

  • Leaflet
  • Timeline

During the year we als published several videos reflecting on 10 years JPI HDHL, you can find the playlist here.

Relevant links

You can access the recording of several sessions and download the presentations from the different speakers below.

Keynotes
Inspiration sessions
Workshops
Background

The 5th international conference of the joint programming initiative Healthy Diet, Healthy Life took place on February 20, 2019 in Brussels and welcomed about 240 people to debate on our conference theme Diet as leverage point towards a healthy and sustainable food system. The participants represented a wide variety of stakeholders in the area of food, nutrition and health and came together to discuss the state of the art in the field of HDHL and look towards the future.

The battle against unhealthy lifestyles is interconnected with other societal challenges, in particular the effect of food production and consumption on biodiversity and climate change, and vice versa. The future-proofing of our food system is a huge challenge and the subject of much ongoing debate. HDHL adheres to the viewpoint that diet is one of the main leverage points towards a healthy and future proof food system. But despite the importance of nutrition in the food system, the research area that deals with the links between nutrition and health as well nutrition related public health interventions often falls in between the agricultural and health domain with a risk of underinvestment – whereas knowledge is needed to underpin policy & interventions to work towards a healthy sustainable society.

Short recap

During the 5th HDHL conference, these were some of the questions we explored. With a panel of experts we also discussed why nutrition is relatively underfunded and how this may be improved, and how to better connect policy needs and Research and Innovation (R&I). Furthermore, we took stock of what HDHL has been working on and topics like impact of research projects and consumer behavior were addressed in workshops and inspiration sessions.

Relevant links

You can access the recordings of the Vlog contest and download the presentations from the different speakers below. 

Keynotes
Inspiration sessions

Workshops

Background

The 4th international conference of the joint programming initiative Healthy Diet, Healthy Life took place on December 1st, 2017 in Brussels aiming to bring together and stimulate the dialogue between stakeholders in the area of food, nutrition and health including policy makers, funders, scientists, health care professionals, industry and Non-Governemental Organistaions. During the conference, an overview of the achievements and future objectives of HDHL, including the running Joint Actions, were presented.

Recap

Networking, active participation and learning from other perspectives, insights and needs are core items of the HDHL conference. The conference started with an early bird programme. This programme existed of a training ‘Speech like Obama’ for a selected group of young scientists, the possibility to schedule speeddates with other participants, and a plenary session on the role that HDHL could play to easy the road from science and innovation. The main conference programme included elevator pitches about the relevance of the HDHL projects where the young scientists are involved in; lectures about the importance of communication and stakeholder participation in research programming and a professional led audience debate. Furthermore, four parallel workshops were held on public-private Research and Innovation collaboration; how to improve the impact of nutrition science; how to organize multi-stakeholder dialogues and a decision room session to provide input for the update of the Strategic Research Agenda.

Relevant links

You can access the impression and download the presentations from the different speakers below.

Early Bird Sessions
Plenary sessions
Parallel workshops
Background

Almost 200 participants joint the third international conference of HDHL on the 19th of June in Brussels. The objective of this conference was to achieve a dialogue between the participants – which are a representation of the great variety of stakeholder in the area of HDHL – to support alignment and collaboration between research programmes and policies.

Recap

On the programme were among others presentations about the running Joint Actions of HDHL, the outcomes of the FAO/WHO Second Conference on Nutrition, and the results and upcoming plans of HDHL.

Furthermore participants could choose between a variety of workshops: a workshop on Nutrition Security (follow up of the EXPO event); a workshop on standardisation and data sharing, a workshop on the collaboration between researchers and the industry and a workshop on the first results of the DEDIPAC Knowledge Hub. As an intermezzo the audience participated in a lively debate on statements like "every researcher should invest 10% of their time in an open source research infrastructure". The conference was closed with an inspiring presentation of Hannelore Daniel "The future of our science: challenges, chances and my personal view" in her valedictory speech as former chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of HDHL.

Relevant links

You can access the recording and download the presentations form the different speakers below.

Plenary sessions
Workshop: European Collaboration - Nutrition Security
Workshop: Debate with industry - how research and industry in the field of HDHL can work together
Workshop: DEDIPAC - first accomplishments across three thematic areas
Workshop: Research Infrastructures - data sharing & standardisation
Background

The Second Conference of the joint programming initiative Healthy Diet, Healthy Life took place on Friday March 28, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Brussels. The conference provided an update on the progress of HDHL since the first Conference in 2012 and launched the next phase of Joint Programming - the Implementation Plan.

Short recap

Networking opportunities were offered to stakeholders in the health and nutrition sector and all relevant partners to ensure that our collective joint efforts regarding a healthy diet for a healthy life deliver impact and provide solutions for this grand societal challenge.

Relevant links

You can find the presentations form the different speakers below.

Other documents
Background

On June 14th, 2012, the first conference of the Joint Programming Initiative “A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life” was held in the Bel Air Hotel in The Hague, The Netherlands. At the conference, the first Strategic Research Agenda of HDHL was launched. More than 220 participants from all over Europe joined the conference, and the interest in the conference was overwhelming. Hence, the conference, chaired by Prof. Wim Saris, Chair of the Management Board, was considered to be very successful.

Recap

The opening speech was given by André van der Zande, Director General of the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and Environment). Afterwards, Rudulf Strohmeier, Deputy Director General of DG Research and Innovation, who emphasised the support of the European Commission for this initiative, gave a short lecture.

As a major issue on the conference agenda, the Strategic Research Agenda was presented by Prof. Hannelore Daniel, Former Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. Hannelore Daniel has played an important and crucial role in realizing this document. The final goal of HDHL and the Strategic Research Agenda is to have a healthier diet and lower the amount of diet-related diseases in a long term perspective. Hannelore Daniel ended her presentation about the Strategic research agenda 2012-2020 with her vision and dream on HDHL and the future: “To establish a European Nutrition and Food Research Institute to improve scientific collaboration and communication across national borders, foster excellence, and better integrate food, nutrition and health research throughout Europe”.

Workshop Sessions

Apart from plenary sessions, several workshops were held at the conference, one for each Research Area of the Strategic Research Agenda:

  • Determinants of diet and physical activity: ensuring the healthy choice is the easy choice for consumers
  • Diet and food production: developing high-quality, healthy, safe and sustainable food products
  • Diet-related chronic diseases: preventing diet-related, chronic diseases and increasing the quality of life -  delivering a healthier diet
  • Horizontal issues: How to collaborate. In the workshops there were different presentations of existing European initiatives and a discussion about how these initiatives can connect with the Strategic Research Agenda and contribute to the implementation of it.