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2016/I am what I eat?

For its 5th annual meeting, the Unesco Chair on World Food Systems addresses the complex connections between food, health and well-being. Among other trends, overeating and excessive consumption of fats, sugar and salt, all over the world, induce an increase in noncommunicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and obesity). With the development of these pathologies, we observe a form of medicalization of food (including in situations of under-nutrition), which significantly renews the relationships between food, health and well-being.

To what extent and under what conditions can food be an act of prevention in health? How to navigate among the sum of the recommendations and nutritional injunctions, sometimes contradictory? What is the influence of "special diets" (organic, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) and food-allergies? What do we know about areas of research on epigenetics (regulation of genes’ expression which can be influenced by the environment and individual’s background history, and thus food) or on gastroenterology (major advances on the study of intestinal flora)? And what about the impacts that these new fields of research will have tomorrow on how we eat and care for ourselves, and the social, philosophical and ethical questions they pose?