ILSI Southeast Asia Region
Bringing you bi-monthly news and information on nutrition, food safety and sustainability issues relevant to our region

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 JAN-FEB 2017




9th Scientific Seminar on Drivers of Consumer Food Choices 
November 15, 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ILSI SEA Region Malaysia Country Committee, together with the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, had organized a scientific seminar to gain insight into studies on consumer food choices in Malaysia and discuss issues and challenges in reviewing programs and food regulations to promote healthier food choices. The seminar also provided a platform to understand drivers of food choices and discuss ways to improve consumer food choices through a multi-stakeholder approach as well as to identify research gaps. Some highlights of key presentations are:
  • Dr Elise Line Mognard, Taylor’s University of Malaysia, on Drivers of Food Choice - Findings from Malaysian Food Barometer: The Malaysian Food Barometer (MFB) was conceptualized to investigate the eating practices and cultural representations of food and eating in a multicultural context as well as to describe and understand the food habits and transformation of the many different dimensions of Malaysian communities. Findings from MFB will be used to complement and enhance ongoing Ministry efforts as well as address problems of non-communicable diseases in the country.
  • Dr Ciaran Forde, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, on The Role of the Senses in Food Choice and Energy Intake: Several studies were conducted by SICS to show how sensory properties influenced food choice, portion selection and ingestion which may in turn drive the development of successful behavioral and dietary strategies to manage chronic conditions.
  • Ms. Fatimah Sulong, Ministry of Health, Malaysia, on Food Labeling and Health Claims – Do They Make a Difference in Consumer Food Choices: Nutrition labeling can motivate and provide information to consumers, assisting them in making food choices. All stakeholders should play a more prominent role in ensuring that consumers utilize nutrition information on food labels effectively ,which eventually contribute towards healthier eating practices.
  • Mr. Khoo Kar Khoon, Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA), Malaysia, on Role of Advertisement in Driving Food Choices:  With the proven effectiveness and influence of advertising, consumers should continue to be informed, educated and engaged on good eating diet and habits through all the relevant channels while ensuring more transparency and responsible advertising is practiced by the industry.
More information on the seminar can be accessed here.


ILSI Research Foundation Scientific Session on Hungry Cities: The Global Revolution in Food Systems  

Food systems are transforming to meet the demands of the world's growing population in urban areas of developing countries. A growing and affluent middle class in Asia, Latin America and Africa is also driving significant shift in food preference with increasing consumption of perishable foods. The ILSI Research Foundation explored the many drivers of food choice in low and middle income countries and addressed the global revolution in food systems during the 2017 ILSI Annual Meeting in La Jolla, California, USA. To view the presentations of the session and the videos recorded, please refer to the link here

Drivers of Food Choice (DFC) Competitive Grants Program

Managed by the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UK aid from the UK government through the Department for International Development, the DFC grants program was developed to support new research on the drivers of food choice among the poor, especially in the 34 low- and middle-income countries that contribute to 90% of the global burden of undernutrition. Dr. Christine Blake, University of South Carolina, USA, had recently presented on the topic "Understanding drivers of food choice in diverse and dynamic settings: conceptual and methodological innovations" at the 2017 ILSI Annual Meeting, giving insights to various factors affecting food choices as well as a brief introduction to the grants program. She also shared some details of the research that are being funded under the program. To view her presentation, please click here


Programming Long-Term Health: Establishing Healthy Eating Patterns in Early Infancy

A chapter of the book titled Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health: Mechanisms, Consequences, and Opportunities published in 2017 explained that the infancy period is the time to set the foundation of long-life healthy eating patterns. Eating behavior including food preferences, acceptance and intake, evolves dramatically during the early life as a consequence of various physiological, functional, and cognitive processes. Infants learn to prefer foods available in their family context through sensory experiences. To set up healthy eating behaviors in a child, parents and caregivers should be supported to adopt adequate feeding practices such as being responsive to infant/toddler’s needs, skills, and characteristics to promote self-regulation as well as exposing him/her to a variety of novel foods in a positive manner repeatedly to improve his/her acceptance of nutritious foods. 

Eating Patterns and Prevalence of Obesity. Lessons Learned from the Malaysian Food Barometer

Published in 2016 in Appetite, the results of the Malaysian Food Barometer launched in 2013 has provided a better understanding on how various macro factors have affected the lifestyles and influence food consumption patterns of the Malaysians. The country has undergone a drastic transition from under-nutrition to over-nutrition with high prevalence of overweight and obesity in a few decades. The paper focused on the BMI issue in Malaysia, and investigated its relationships with the socio-demographic variables of the population, as well as their eating patterns. Contrary to general belief, overweight and obesity were neither associated with the number of food intakes per day (including snacks) nor with the frequency of eating out. For more information about the paper, please click here

Snacking Now or Later? Individual Differences in Following Intentions or Habits Explained by Time Perspective

While individuals are well aware of the long-term health effects of their diet, and form healthy intentions, they often engage in relatively unhealthy snacking habits. There are some individuals who fall back on unhealthy habits more easily than others. A research paper published on Appetite in 2016 had investigated whether time perspective can explain why some individuals follow their habits more frequently while others follow their intentions. The research results showed that future-minded individuals are more likely to follow intentions, whereas present-minded individuals are more likely to fall back on habits. The authors of the study also suggested that interventions that aim to break unhealthy habits might best focus on long-term consequences for one's health. 


April 10-11, 2017
ILSI Southeast Asia Region Annual Meeting 2017
Jakarta, Indonesia 

April 11, 2017
Seminar on Hot Topics in Nutrition and Food Safety for ASEAN
Jakarta, Indonesia 

May 3-4, 2017
Seminar on Re-assessing Macronutrients Need – Quality, Requirement and Current Intake
Bangkok, Thailand

July 24-25, 2017
Seminar and Expert Consultation on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition
Bangkok, Thailand

July 2017
Forum on Risk Analysis in ASEAN (By Invitation) 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


2nd - 3rd Quarter 2017
2nd Workshop on ASEAN Food Composition Database (By Invitation)  

September 2017
Seminar on Diabetes – Science and Prevention

October 15-20, 2017
ILSI Sponsored Sessions at IUNS 21st International Congress of Nutrition (ICN)  
Buenos Aires, Argentina

November 2017
Seminar on Drivers of Consumer Food Choices  
Bangkok, Thailand 

1st Quarter 2018
Seminar on Food Fortification  

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ILSI Southeast Asia Region · 18 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore · #03-01 · Singapore 238967 · Singapore

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