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This conference had been scheduled to be held at the Royal Society. Although several speakers had agreed to attend in person, the Science Committee have decided to proceed with the conference purely as an ‘online’ event. The format will broadly follow that used for the highly successful Nutrition Society Live event held in July.
The topic of the conference is: Micronutrient malnutrition across the life course, sarcopenia and frailty
Micronutrient malnutrition, the deficiency of vitamins and minerals, is an issue across the whole life course, even in high income countries. Micronutrient malnutrition often accompanies low intakes of both protein and energy and leads to serious developmental issues in children, affecting cognition, physical function, and growth. At the other end of the lifecourse, in older adults, recent research shows micronutrient malnutrition leads to decline in physical function, loss of muscle and cognition, and poor quality of life therefore, contributing to the diseases of aging, including sarcopenia and frailty.
Micronutrients also help to maintain immune resilience, likely conferring protection against COVID-19. A number of clinical conditions including bariatric surgery and gastrointestinal diseases also lead to micronutrient malnutrition.
Despite the high prevelance and importance of micronutrient malnutrition this is less well recognised in older western populations. On the other hand low and middle income countries are experiencing the ‘double burden of disease’ where malnutrition coexists alongside the non-communicable diseases of aging; obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
As micronutrient malnutrition leads to irreversible changes in growth, body composition and cognition in childhood as well as in older age rectifying deficiency of micronutrients is highly important.
The meeting will highlight recent scientific developments, current understanding and debate surrounding micronutrient deficiency and requirements across the life-course. The four symposia of the conference will cover the topics of the importance and impacts of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in aging and disease; sarcopenia, frailty, osteosarcopenic obesity and bariatric surgery. The symposia also cover the emerging issue of the ‘double burden of disease’ in low and middle income countries as well as the importance of micronutrients during pregnancy, and neural development in childhood. Finally, speakers in symposium four will focus on how issues of micronutrient malnutrition can be addressed, differences in micronutrient requirements across the lifecourse and the development of dietary recommendations.
The conference benefits from international speakers who will contribute their knowledge and expertise in the field of micronutrient malnutrition. On day one Professor Paul Kelly will give the Keynote Lecture with the title “Micronutrient deficiencies globally: poor diet or malabsorption?“. Professor Maret Traber will speak on “Vitamin E necessary nutrient for neural development and cognitive function”, Professor Philip Calder will speak on “Micronutrients, immunity and COVID-19”, and Professor Sian Robinson on “Micronutrients and sarcopenia: current perspectives”.
On day two Dr Jeronen De Baaij will speak on “Magnesium in health and disease”, Professor Jasminka Ilich will speak on “Osteosarcopenic obesity syndrome as a complex entity in body composition derangement: The case for micronutrient implications” and Professor Lisette de Groot on “Nutritional Concerns Later in Life”.