FINUT 2020 Conference – virtual

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) is delighted to support and be virtually present at the FINUT 2020 virtual Conference on Food and Nutrition, which is being organised online by the Ibero-American Nutrition Foundation (Fundación Iberoamericana de Nutrición – FINUTfrom 11th to 13th October 2020.

In light of the multiple challenges that the world is facing due to the new coronavirus and to the pandemic of Covid-19, discussions around food and nutrition and their role in health promotion and disease prevention are becoming more important. Therefore, the theme of FINUT 2020 “All working together for a better nutrition” is more relevant than ever before.

The FINUT Conference is expected to create an open virtual environment for exchange of ideas and for discussion on topics related to the main challenges of Food and Nutrition in Ibero-America including in the context of the current unprecedented situation. The Conference aims at training professionals and researchers interested in these areas and at providing scientific answers to the current nutrition-related challenges.

On the occasion of FINUT 2020, the ISA is organising a scientific ‘meeting with experts’ on Sunday, 11th October 2020, at 16.10-17.40 CET (Central European Time), where Dr Brian Cavagnari from the Argentine Catholic University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Dr Hugo Laviada-Molina from the Marist University of Mérida, Mexico, will provide engaging and interactive talks on frequently debated topics regarding the role of low/no calorie sweeteners in obesity and diabetes. The ISA will also be hosting a virtual ISA information booth at the virtual exhibition of FINUT 2020 during the whole duration of the congress, to answer any questions participants may have. Please see below the section on the virtual exhibition booth for more information about ISA activities on this occasion.

We invite you to virtually attend and actively participate to a highly interactive discussion at the ISA ‘meeting with experts’ scientific session at FINUT 2020 and to visit the virtual ISA booth to get all the latest information on a topic with emerging research and high scientific interest. You will find all useful information about ISA participation to FINUT 2020 hereafter.

As the rates of obesity and diabetes continue to increase worldwide, public health strategies including the promotion of healthier dietary choices and reformulation of foods and drinks aim at achieving the recommended calorie, fat and sugar reduction in the diet. Low/no calorie sweeteners represent a helpful tool for food reformulation to replace sugar and reduce calories in food products while maintaining sweet taste.

At the same time, there has been an increased interest as well as controversy around the role of low/no calorie sweeteners in weight and glucose control. Results reported in different scientific publications seem contradictory in relation to this topic: while some observational studies suggest a positive association between the consumption of low/no calorie sweeteners and obesity or diabetes, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) consistently show that the consumption of these ingredients – in replacement of sugars – may lead to a reduction in calorie intake and body weight, and that they don’t affect blood glucose and insulin levels.

Recognising the increased scientific and health professionals’ interest in this area, the ISA is proud to present what promises to be a highly interesting and interactive scientific session at the ISA-organised ‘meeting with the experts’ at FINUT 2020, which will take place on 11th October 2020, at 16.10 – 17.40 CET (Central European Time).

Dr Brian Cavagnari (Argentina) and Dr Hugo Laviada-Molina (Mexico) whose research on the effects of sugars and low/no calorie sweeteners on human health has been published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, will analyse the current scientific literature in the light of Evidence-Based Medicine, in a session which will include an interactive poll for the audience, the experts’ presentations and a very engaging discussion with participants.

Please find below the detailed scientific programme of the ISA-organised meeting with the experts at FINUT 2020:
Sunday, 11th October 2020, 16.10-17.40 CET
Title: “Meeting with the experts: Low/no calorie sweeteners in public health: why is there a controversy about their role in obesity and diabetes?
Chair: Dr Brian Cavagnari MD, MSc, PhD, Professor and Researcher at the School of Nutrition of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Argentine Catholic University (UCA), Argentina
16.10 – 16.20: Introduction and interactive poll with the participation of the audience
16.20 – 16.40: “Do low/no calorie sweeteners help or hinder calorie reduction and weight loss?” – A talk by Dr Brian Cavagnari MD, MSc, PhD, Professor and Researcher of the School of Nutrition of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Argentine Catholic University (UCA), Argentina
16.40 – 17.00: “Low/no calorie sweeteners, glucose control and insulin sensitivity: Evidence from RCTs and observational studies” – A talk by Dr Hugo Laviada-Molina MD, MSc, Professor and Researcher at the School of Health Sciences, Marist University of de Mérida, Mexico
17.00 – 17.10: Presentation and discussion of the results of the poll by the chair
17.10 – 17.30: Q&A session: Ask the experts

Join us on Sunday afternoon, 11th October 2020, to attend the ISA-organised ‘meeting with the experts’ at FINUT 2020 and stay informed on latest research in the field of low/no calorie sweeteners.

For more information about the ISA-organised session, you may review the speaker’s biographies and abstracts of their talks, available here below.

Brian M. Cavagnari, MD, MSc, PhD
Nutrition Career, School of Medical Sciences, Argentine Catholic University, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr Brian Cavagnari is a Pediatrician and Doctor in Biological Sciences. He obtained his Master’s degree in Nutrition with his thesis „Non-Caloric Sweeteners: metabolism and evaluation of their safety“, and his Master’s degree in Food Technology with his thesis „Non-Caloric Sweeteners in the Light of Evidence-Based Medicine“. He is a full member of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics and of the Argentine Society of Nutrition, researcher at the Career of Nutrition (Argentine Catholic University) and currently in charge of the „Evidence Based Nutrition“ course at the School of Agronomy (University of Buenos Aires). He has several scientific articles published in peer-reviewed international journals and multiple presentations at national and international conferences. He is a reviewer for scientific journals and scientific advisor for biotechnological, pharmaceutical and food and beverage companies. He studies the health effects of non-caloric sweeteners, in the light of Evidence-Based Medicine and has participated in several Consensus and Expert Meetings on the topic.

Dr Hugo Laviada-Molina
Professor and Researcher at the School of Health Sciences, Marist University of Mérida, Mexico

Dr Hugo Laviada Molina is a clinical endocrinologist who obtained his medical degree from the University of Yucatan, in Merida, Mexico, and the speciality in Clinical Endocrinology & Nutrition from the postgraduate unit of the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He received a master’s degree in Medical Sciences (in endocrinology) from the University of Sheffield, UK. He is also a graduate in clinical nutrition and obesity at the Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey, (Campus Guadalajara), in Mexico. Currently, he is a professor-researcher in Metabolism and Human Nutrition at the Marist University of Mérida, Mexico. He belongs to the national system of researchers of the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACyT). He is titular member of the Mexican Society of Nutrition and Endocrinology and of the Latin American Diabetes Society being coordinator of their position papers on low calorie sweeteners.

Abstract by Dr Brian Cavagnari
Title: “Do low/no calorie sweeteners help or hinder calorie reduction and weight loss?
To maintain the sweet taste of foods and beverages while reducing the caloric content and the amount of free sugars in said products, many people choose to replace sugary products in their diet with options containing low and no calorie sweeteners (LNCS). This dietary change is accompanied by a growing questioning about the effects that LNCS could have on body weight.
Results reported in different scientific publications seem contradictory in relation to this topic: while observational studies report a positive association between the consumption of LNCS and energy intake and body weight, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that the consumption of these additives -in replacement of sugars- may lead to a reduction in caloric intake and body weight. The key to comprehend these alleged discrepancies is to understand the scope and limitations of each study design (observational vs. RCTs), as well as the importance of the analyzed comparators (LNCS vs. sugars or LNCS vs. non-caloric comparators).
Analyzing the different scientific articles in the light of Evidence-Based Medicine, we found that the highest quality evidence (RCTs, systematic reviews and meta-analysis of RCTs) indicates that replacing free sugars with LNCS could be useful to reduce caloric intake and relative body weight.

We kindly invite you to visit us during the virtual exhibition at which the ISA will be present with a virtual information booth, and which can be accessed by clicking here. The ISA will answer your questions and provide you with scientific downloadable materials and further information relating to low/no calorie sweeteners’ science. You will also be able to find out more about who the ISA is and what we do, by having access to an introductory video about the ISA.

By visiting the virtual ISA booth, you will have the opportunity to download the Spanish version of the ISA booklet entitled “Low calorie sweeteners: Role and benefits – A guide to the science of low calorie sweeteners”, as well as new resources for health professionals, including the recently developed ISA infographics on the role and benefits of low/no calorie sweeteners in calorie and sugar reduction, low/no calorie sweeteners in diabetes and low/no calorie sweeteners in dental health.

Please also do take the opportunity to also participate in our 3-minute survey by clicking here. Your feedback counts, therefore we would be very interested to learn more about your scientific interests and views in relation to low/no calorie sweeteners and the ISA.

We look forward to virtually meeting you at the ISA virtual booth at FINUT 2020!

For more information about the virtual FINUT 2020 Conference, please visit the Conference website by clicking here.