17th International Congress Of Dietetics

Organised once every four years, the 17th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD 2016) is taking place this year in Granada, Spain, from the 7th until 10th of September.

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) recognises the important role that dietitians play in advising and educating people towards a healthy diet, and is proud to support and participate in ICD 2016, a scientific event which brings together dietitians from around the world.

You will find more information about this congress and the ISA participation to ICD 2016 here below.

To read the ISA Press Release and get further insights on the presentations at the session ‘Sweetness without calories: How can low calorie sweeteners be a helpful tool in dietetic practice?’, please click here. For the highlights of this roundtable symposium, please click here.

Hosted this year by the Spanish Foundation of Dietitians-Nutritionists in collaboration with the General Council of Dietitians-Nutritionist of Spain, ICD 2016 is an important scientific event for dietitians worldwide. With four days of scientific lectures, roundtables, symposia and workshops dedicated to major diet and nutrition topics, already more than 1400 dietitians and other health professionals have registered to attend the congress and exchange professional experiences and scientific views. You may download the programme of ICD 2016 by clicking here.

The theme of ICD 2016 is “Going to sustainable eating”. The congress will cover new challenges for dietitians and would like to make them aware that with their day-to-day work they can guide people towards a healthy and sustainable diet, and immensely contribute to bequeath a better world and a better planet to the future generations.

In coherence with its theme, the Organizing Committee has declared the ICD 2016 a paperless congress and encourage all participants to follow this initiative and make the event sustainable and respectful of the environment. For this scope, all attendees are encouraged to download the official “ICD GRANADA 2016” App. Only by using the official App will you be able to follow the congress and have full access to all the information regarding the scientific program, abstracts, speaker bio sketches, social events and the latest news and communications. To access all information regarding this App, how to download and use it, please click here.

On the occasion of the 17th International Congress of Dietetics, the ISA is delighted to be hosting an information booth and a roundtable symposium as part of the main programme on Thursday, 8th September, 12.00-13.30pm, entitled ‘Sweetness without calories: How can low calorie sweeteners be a helpful tool in dietetic practice’.

Join us at the 17th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD 2016) in Granada, Spain, to stay informed about the latest research on low calorie sweeteners benefits and use in diabetes and weight management.

The ISA would also like to kindly invite all participants to visit its information booth in order to address any questions on low calorie sweeteners, and receive the new ISA booklet about ‘Low calorie sweeteners: Role and benefits’ as well as the updated ISA factsheets with the latest scientific evidence on the benefits of low calorie sweeteners.
Based on the strong body of evidence of human studies, low calorie sweeteners are recognised as an effective tool in weight management. When used as part of a weight control programme, low calorie sweetened foods and drinks can help people reduce overall caloric intake while keeping the preferred sweet taste of their favourable foods and drinks. Low calorie sweeteners are also a helpful ally in the diet of people with diabetes, as they offer greater variety and choice as well as sweet taste without affecting blood glucose and insulin levels.

Your feedback counts, so please do take the opportunity to also participate in our 3-minute survey. We would be very interested to learn more about your scientific interests and views in relation to low calorie sweeteners and the ISA. In return, participants who complete our short survey will be entered into a prize draw to win an Apple iPad Air 2 16GB Wi-Fi only tablet.
Join us at the 17th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD 2016) in Granada, Spain, to stay informed about the latest research on low calorie sweeteners benefits and use in diabetes and weight management.

ISA sponsored roundtable symposium, Thursday, 8th September, 12.00pm The roundtable symposium entitled ‘Sweetness without calories: How can low calorie sweeteners be a helpful tool in dietetic practice’ will be chaired by Dr Aimilia Papakonstantinou, Lecturer in Nutrition and Metabolism at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, and will feature Prof Kees de Graaf, Chairman Division of Human Nutrition, Professor in Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour, Wageningen University, Netherlands; Prof Anne Raben, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Dr Caomhan Logue, Lecturer in Dietetics, Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK.
The attendees of this ISA-sponsored roundtable symposium will have the opportunity to attend the latest research on low calorie sweeteners and their benefits as part of a healthy balanced diet, as well as address any questions about the use of low calorie sweeteners in the dietetic practice during the panel discussion which will be led by renowned experts in the fields of dietetics, appetite control, weight management and diabetes.
Please click here to view the roundtable symposium invitation and get more information on the programme, presentations and speakers. You may also access all information about the ISA roundtable symposium at the official “ICD GRANADA 2016” App.

The role of sweetness in the diet; past present and future Professor Kees (C) de Graaf, Chairman Division of Human Nutrition, Professor in Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour, Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Sweetness has not always been a large part of the human diet. In the Neolithic diet, sweetness was nearly absent. Up to the 1500’s sugar was considered as a spice in the diet, next to other spices like pepper. With the upcoming of sugar cane production in the America’s, sugar production and consumption rose, alongside with the introduction of coffee, tea and chocolate drinks. Sugar became cheaper through the introduction of sugar beet, and consumption rose considerably from the start of the industrial revolution around 1800 until the 1960’s. Since then sugar consumption in the Netherlands is stable around 125 g/person/day. Humans are born with an inborn preference for sweetness; optimal sugar levels decline from birth until young adulthood. In the industrialized world, the vast majority of the energy consumed comes from sweet and savoury/salty foods. In various recent meta-analyses it was concluded that the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages may contribute to the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes. There is not such evidence for sugar in solid form. A recent meta-analysis on the role of low energy sweeteners (LES) in appetite control showed that LES in beverages behaved like water. One of the mechanisms behind this effect may be the fact that liquid calories are not well sensed with respect to satiety compared to solid calories. One of the interesting remaining questions is whether or not LES would also contribute to a lower energy intake/body weight when replacing sugar in solid foods. One important question regarding sweetness preferences is whether preferences for sweetness are stable or whether they change after exposure. Some scientific studies and industrial examples suggest that sweetness preferences may change into the direction of the level of exposure, although one recent study suggested stable sugar preferences despite lower exposure to sweetness. One of the scientific challenges is to find out how exposure to sweet taste in the diet may change preferences for sweetness.

Low calorie sweeteners: effects on appetite and body weight regulation Professor Anne Raben, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. Professor.

It has been claimed that low calorie sweeteners (LCS) increase appetite and thereby food intake and body weight (BW) in the long term. This is mainly based on a few acute meal test studies in the 1980’ies. However, several intervention studies conducted over the past 25-30 years have shown that LCS do not stimulate appetite or increase BW, as suggested early on. Comprehensive meta-analyses from recent years have quite unanimously found that the use of LCS may lead to relatively reduced body weight compared with sugar (1). The pattern is the same for children and adults, although more studies have been conducted in adults. In addition, it has been shown that ectopic fat accumulation, glycemia, insulinemia and lipidemia do not increase as observed with sucrose intake. Lately, RCTs have also compared intake of LCS with water and changes in BW. This is based on the assumption that LCS would increase appetite and energy intake and thereby BW, if replacing water. Interestingly, one recent study in 303 overweight and obese individuals showed that after an intial weight loss period subjects receiving water had maintained a 2.5 kg weight loss after a 1-year behaviroual treatment programme, while those receiving LCS beverages maintained a loss of 6.2 kg (P > 0.001) (2). LCS beverages were therefore superior for weight loss and weight maintenance in this population. Some longitudinal cohort studies have reported a positive association between LCS intake and BMI, suggesting that LCS may promote weight gain. However, when interpreting data from cohort studies, it is important to remember that only associations and not causeand-effect relationships can be established. Thus, reverse causality or residual confounding can happen, and therefore caution should be used. A recent retrospective analysis of data from 22,231 adults (NHANES) showed that LCS usage was associated with selfreported intention to lose weight during the previous 12 months (3). This therefore supports the hypothesis that overweight subjects are more likely to consume LCS products than normal-weight subjects.

  1. Rogers et al. Int J Obes 2015.177;doi 10.1038
  2. Peters et al. Obesity 2016;24:297-304.
  3. Drewnowski & Rehm. Nutr Diab 2016;6 e202;doi 10.1038.

The role of low calorie sweeteners in obesity and diabetes epidemics from a public health perspective Dr Caomhan Logue, Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Ulster University, Coleraine, Northern Ireland. Lecturer in Dietetics.

Obesity and related disorders, including type 2 diabetes, have become major public health concerns resulting in significant implications for the clinical, economic and social arenas.(1,2) Many factors have been implicated in the development of weight gain and diabetes and therefore a multi-faceted approach has been advocated to tackle these global health issues. Public health initiatives have focused on encouraging healthier dietary practices and increased physical activity within the population, with a partnership approach for tackling these health issues being suggested.(3) One suggested strategy is to make healthy dietary options available to consumers through reformulation of products.(4,5) The over-consumption of free sugars, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages, has been implicated in the development of weight gain and type 2 diabetes.(6,7) Therefore, recent reports recommend that intake of free sugars should ideally not exceed 5-10% of total energy intake.(6,7) With current estimated intakes ranging from 7-17% in adults and 12-25% in children (7), adherence to such recommendations is likely to prove challenging. One strategy to augment efforts to reduce overall free sugar intake may be to substitute them for low-calorie sweeteners (LCS). LCS provide a sweet taste without contributing to the overall energy content of the product. Controversy has surrounded the use of LCS for some time; however despite some observational (human) and animal-based data indicating a potential adverse role of LCS in terms of weight management and/or glycaemic control, these findings have not been supported by randomised controlled trials in humans which demonstrate that LCS may indeed be a useful weight management tool.(8) Furthermore, it has been reported that LCS consumption is associated with healthier diets and lifestyle behaviours.(9,10) Inadequate assessments of LCS intakes in observational studies may explain some of the variances between observational and experimental data. As such, obtaining more robust intake data, potentially via a biomarker approach (11), offers more objective opportunities to overcome limitations with existing datasets. Therefore, based on existing evidence and current government policies, LCS seem well positioned to play a positive role in tackling the obesity and diabetes epidemics by helping to reduce sugar consumption while maintaining the palatability of the diet.

  1. WHO (2015) Obesity and Overweight, Fact sheet No. 311.
  2. WHO (2016) Global Report on Diabetes.
  3. European Commission (2007) White Paper: A strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues.
  4. Public Health England (2015) Sugar reduction: From Evidence into action.
  5. World Cancer Research Fund International (2015) Curbing global sugar consumption.
  6. WHO (2015) Guideline: Sugars intakes for adults and children.
  7. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2015) Carbohydrates and health.
  8. Peters J.C. & Beck J (In press) Low calorie sweetener (LCS) use and energy balance. Physiology and Behavior.
  9. Drewnowski & Rehm (2014) Consumption of Low-Calorie Sweeteners among U.S. Adults Is Associated with Higher Healthy Eating Index (HEI 2005) Scores and More Physical Activity. Nutrients 6: 4389-4403.
  10. Gibson S A et al (2016) Low Calorie Beverage Consumption Is Associated with Energy and Nutrient Intakes and Diet Quality in British Adults. Nutrients 8 (1): 9 doi: 10.3390/nu8010009.
  11. Logue C et al (2015) A novel method for the simultaneous determination of five low calorie sweeteners in human urine. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 74 (OCE1): E72.

About Dr Aimilia Papakonstantinou

Aimilia Papakonstantinou is a Lecturer in Nutrition and Metabolism at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition of Agricultural University of Athens. During her almost 10 years of stay in the U.S.A., after graduating from the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Georgia U.S.A., and during and after the completion of her graduate studies, she worked as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant until 2003 at the same University. Upon her return to Greece she got her PhD from the Department of Dietetics – Nutrition at Harokopio University Athens and worked at the Lab of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics as a Research Associate until 2006. From 2006 up to 2013 she gained priceless clinical and research experience working as a registered dietitian at the 2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Research Institute and Diabetes Center, Athens University at Attikon University Hospital. In 2013 until today she is a Agricultural University of Athens faculty member. Her research interest and her clinical experience in the prevention and dietary treatment of obesity and diabetes have placed her as one of the experts in this field in Greece. Her research has been published in numerous international peer reviewed journals, while she has participated in more than 100 national and international meetings/conferences as an invited speaker. Her research is focused on issues involving the dietary management of obesity and diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance.

About Prof Kees de Graaf

Kees (C ) de Graaf is a professor in Sensory Science and Eating Behavior at and chairman of the Division of Human Nutrition of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His PhD-thesis was on Psychophysical studies of mixtures of tastants. De Graaf has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, mostly on psycho-biological determinants of eating behaviour. Research and teaching activities focus on the meaning of sensory signals for eating behaviour and the regulation of food intake. His attention focuses on different groups of people (children, elderly, overweight people), the effects of properties of food on choice and intake while using modern techniques of measurement (e.g. MRI). The research lines of his chair-group focuses on three main research areas 1) food structure- food oral processing – dynamic sensory perception and preference, 2) the impact of sensory and metabolic signals on eating behavior, and 3) the peripheral physiology and neurobiology of reward and satiety.

About Prof Anne Raben

Anne Raben (AR) is Ph.D. in Human Nutrition, Professor in the Obesity Research Unit, and Head of Study Board at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS), SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. AR has more than 25 years of experience with clinical intervention studies within the area of obesity and related diseases. Main research topics have been on dietary and drug-induced changes in body weight, appetite regulation, energy expenditure, metabolic parameters and risk markers of CVD and T2D. Especially, the role of different macronutrients and carbohydrates – including sugar, non-caloric sweeteners, and glycemic index – has been in focus. Currently, AR is Project Coordinator of the large multinational EU FP7 project “PREVIEW”, Prevention of Diabetes through lifestyle Intervention and populations studies in Europe and around the World (www.Previewstudy.com). The core of the project is a 3-year multicentre clinical trial in 2,500 pre-diabetic overweight children and adults.

About Dr Caomhan Logue

Dr Caomhan Logue is a Lecturer in Dietetics at the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Caomhan graduated in 2012 with BSc Hons Dietetics and worked as a Clinical Dietitian before completing his PhD at Ulster. His PhD focused on investigating the feasibility of a biomarker approach for assessing intakes of low-calorie sweeteners (LCS). Within this work he developed a novel analytical method of simultaneously determining urinary concentrations of five commonly consumed LCS and his current research interests focus on applying this novel approach, which allows for more objective assessment of LCS intake/exposure, to investigate the relationship between LCS and health. Caomhan also has a keen interest in public health and works closely with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance (Northern Ireland), which delivers a range of health programmes aimed at improving the health and well-being of local populations who live in areas of high socio-economic deprivation.