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Scientific Programme Organisers: 

Dr Patricia Heavey (Technological University of the Shannon, Midlands & Midwest, Ireland)


Throughout the life-course, nutrition influences an individual’s growth and development, as well as health and longevity. As such the nutritional needs of individuals and population subgroups vary and biological and social differences between women, men, girls, boys, and gender-diverse people are important considerations. Although different interpretations exist, in general sex refers to the genetic, biological, and physiological attributes that distinguish females, males and intersex whereas gender refers to socio-cultural and politically constructed roles and behaviours associated with a feminine, masculine, or non-binary identity, which vary from society to society. Sex has implications for bioavailability, metabolism, distribution, and elimination of food and nutrients as well as life-stage differences in nutritional requirements. Sex and gender may have implications in how individuals engage in different dietary behaviours and respond to nutrition interventions. Therefore, this conference will explore the integration of the sex variable and the gender dimension in nutrition research and their impact on health.


Conference aim: 

The aim of this conference is to improve our understanding of how to identify and interpret sex and gender differences in nutrition research and to understand how these differences might affect or influence nutrition interventions and outcomes.



  • Understand the role of sex and gender in nutrition research
  • Explore the influence of sex and gender on risk of non-communicable disease
  • Sex and gender specific considerations across the life course