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Food, health, well-being : I am what I eat ? 2016


For its 5th annual meeting, the UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems approached the complicated connections between food, health and well-being. Among other trends, the abundance’s behaviours and the excess of animal fats’ consumption, sugar and salt, all around the world, lead to an increase of non communicable diseases (cardiovascular ones, type 2 diabetes, and obesity). With the development of these pathologies and the will to prevent them, we observ a form of food medicalisation (including in undernutrition cases), which considerably renews the links between food, health and well-being. To what extent and under what conditions food can establish an act of prevention regarding health ? How not to get lost throught the amount of nutritional, sometimes contradictory, recommendations and injunctions ?
What is the influence of « special nourishments » (organic, vegetarian, gluten-free) and relations food-allergies ?
What do we know about areas of research on epigenetics (regulation of genes’ expression which can be influenced by environment and individual bakground, and thus food) or gastroenterology (major advances on the study of intestinal flora) ? And what about the impacts which these new fields of research will cause tomorrow on our ways to eat and care over ourselves, and then social, philosophical and ethic issues they tackle ?