A symposium on the emerging trend in customised nutrition will this weekend reveal how food choices are becoming increasingly individual, making it more important for health food marketers to target the right person.
Research continually shows a direct link between the consumption of specific foods with optimal health and disease prevention. For example, a 35-year-old man who has a family history of hypertension may lower his risk of developing the condition by eating more low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables.
An expert panel of six researchers and scientists will explore the possibilities for food specification based on individual profiles at a seminar this Sunday, part of the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) annual meeting.
Dr Sue Harlander will provide an overview about how national nutrition recommendations are becoming highly individualised while Dr Bruce German explains how metabolic differences, genetic make-up and lifestyles impact individuals' nutritional needs. The role dairy plays in weight management will be discussed by Dr Michael Zemel, and Dr Paul Davis will highlight potential risks and obstacles facing the food industry. Dr Indra Mehrotra will also consider future opportunities and challenges for industry.
"The future of how people select the foods they eat has the potential to be dramatically different than today," said Dr Lori Hoolihan, symposium moderator, from the Dairy Council of California. "Not only will we be choosing food based on flavour and appeal but also because what we choose to eat may help us live longer, healthier lives."