The successful Regional SEANUTS Conference on ‘Current Updates on Childhood Nutrition & Development’, co-organised by FrieslandCampina Institute (FCI), Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), kicked off a series of important meetings around the region.
Held on 6 and 7 November 2012 at the Hilton Sentral Kuala Lumpur, this event marked the regional opening of a series of high level talks and discussion with regards to nutrition status of children in South East Asia.
The 1.5 day KL conference was attended by more than 200 participants ranging from scientists, academicians, health care professionals, representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and NGOs such as Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. It served as a platform for discussing issues that are important for the SEA region, the relevance of SEANUTS in the current context and to propose some action plan for next steps.
Lectures given by experts included topics such as:
- Nutrition and health status of children – what is the scientific basis
- Nutrition and health scenarios in South East Asia – key regional findings from SEANUTS.
- Dual burden of malnutrition
- Emergence of Vitamin D deficiency epidemic and its consequences.
Conference participants enjoyed all the topics brought forward with many taking the time and effort to write in their opinions.
The conference had ended with all participants divided into working groups that discussed and compiled recommendations for moving forward under the following topics:
Work Group 1: Optimising growth and developmental potential of infants and toddlers
Work Group 2: Investing in School Health and Nutrition
Work Group 3: SEANUTS and policy options: Contribution and potential for national policies/programmes.
Results of SEANUTS and its benefits were also shared during a media conference that followed the event, reflecting NSM’s opinion on the importance of SEANUTS and its findings.
SEANUTS stands for South East Asian Nutrition Surveys, the first-ever study of children’s nutrition done on such a massive scale and depth, commissioned by FrieslandCampina, and conducted in the region’s top four highly populated countries-Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. In each country, FrieslandCampina worked with highly reputable Universities and Nutrition Institutes to conduct the study on almost 17,000 children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years. The study started two years ago, and the first results are expected to be published in the British Journal of Nutrition by 2013.