Nutrition & Diet for Healthy Lifestyles in Europe:
Science & Policy Implications

European Conference
May 18-20, 2000
Heraklion, Crete, Greece


University logo University of Crete
School of Medicine
School of Medicine logo


      For interested browsers, this site contains a short overview, the conference program and a list of participants.  For more information, the reader is referred to the proceedings as published in Public Health Nutrition 2001; 4(2A).



        The European Conference held in Heraklion, Crete 18-20 May 2000 on  "Nutrition and Diet for Healthy Lifestyles in Europe : Science and Policy Implications"  was the culmination of the consultative process for the Eurodiet project.   The conference was organised by the University of Crete School of Medicine under the auspices of the European Commission, Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (Unit F/3) and the Ministry of Health, Greece.  

        The Eurodiet Conference was attended by 150 experts: leading scientists, policy advisers and health promotion practitioners, as well as representatives from industry, consumer and public health organisations (Conference participants). The conference provided a timely opportunity for nutrition scientists and stakeholders’ representatives to review and debate the Eurodiet Working Party reports and to discuss developments in EU food and nutrition policy.  Following welcome addresses by Anthony Kafatos (Project Chair) and N. Gourtsoyiannis (Dean of the Medical School, University of Crete), these themes of the science and policy implications were addressed by the keynote speakers : Matti Rajala for the EC (DG SANCO) and Philip James (IOTF).  The positive relationship between the Eurodiet project and the Société Française de Santé Publique, (SFSP) Nutrition Policy Group proposals for European action under the French Presidency 2000 were also outlined by Alain Lefebvre (Representation Permanante de la France Aupres de l’UE). 

       The conference provided an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the contributions that they can make to better nutrition and lifestyle choices for Europeans.  The differing perspectives being brought to bear were reflected in the addresses made by stakeholders representatives from agriculture, the food industry, consumers, public health NGOs, and health practitioners. The reports of the four Eurodiet Working Parties were reviewed and discussed in separate sessions, with invited presentations elaborating on the role of diet and lifestyles in health and disease patterns in Europe; approaches to the development of food-based dietary guidelines; effective health promotion strategies; and the policy implications. Further opportunity for debate was occasioned by the poster presentations, which were indicative of the spectrum of research in this field : from basic science through to evaluations of specific health promotion projects. Finally, parallel sessions on selected case themes were organised to assess the practical connections between the project components. Useful and interesting discussion followed the presentations of panels of experts on the subjects of (1)fruit and vegetables; (2) fat; (3) physical activity; (4) vitamins and minerals and (5) carbohydrates. 

     The Eurodiet project has benefited greatly from the various contributions and ensuing dialogue between the many prominent scientists, other experts and stakeholder representatives who have participated.  These are acknowledged here. The additional financial support provided for the Eurodiet Conference by General Secretariat for Research and Technology (Greece), and by the University of Crete (Greece), together with the support provided for certain conference social events by the Centre de Reserche du Groupe DANONE (CIRDC) is also gratefully acknowledged.


Wednesday 17th May


10.00 - 18.00 Société Française de Santé Publique, (SFSP) Nutrition Policy Group Meeting


15.30 - 19.00 Eurodiet Registration at the Candia Maris Hotel



Wine and Welcome


Thursday 18th May  

Opening Plenary

09.30 - 09.50
Welcome Addresses
  • N. Gourtsoyiannis, Dean of the Medical School University of Crete
  • A.G. Kafatos, Conference Chair, Eurodiet Project Coordinator


09.50 - 10.50 Keynote Speakers : Themes – Science & Policy
  • M. Rajala, European Commission, Directorate General of Health & Consumer Protection (F/3)
  • W.P.T. James, International Obesity Task Force (IOTF)
  • A. Lefebvre, French Presidency Preparatory Group On Nutrition Policy.


10.50 - 11.20 Coffee Break


Stakeholdersinvited presentations by representatives from :
11.20 - 11.30 Agriculture
C. Golfidis, COPA and COGECA Secretariat
European Farmers Association
11.30 -11.40 Industry
D. Taeymans, Confederation des Industries Agro-Alimentaires de l’UE (CIAA)
11.40 - 11.50 Consumers
T. Lobstein, European Coordinator, the International Association of Consumer Food Organisations (IACFO)
11.50 - 12.00 Public Health
S.  Logstrup European Heart Network
12.00 - 12.10 Health Practitioners
J.C.F.M. Aghina, the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CP)


Working Party Chairs : Overview of the Reports


12.10 - 12.20 Working Party 1: A. Ferro Luzzi, National Institute of Nutrition, Italy
12.20 - 12.30 Working Party 2: M.J. Gibney, IEFS & Trinity College, Ireland
12.30 - 12.40 Working Party 3: M. Sjostrom, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
12.40 - 12.50 Working Party 4: I. Elmadfa, University of Vienna, Austria


13.00 - 15.30 Lunch  Break

Working Party Sessions


Working Party 1 : Health & Nutrients

The Role of Diet and Lifestyles in Health and Disease Patterns in Europe.
Chair : A. Ferro Luzzi

15.30 - 15.45 Presentation by W.P.T. James (Rapporteur)
15.45 - 16.00 ‘Epidemiological Case for a Food and Health Policy in the European Union’
Eric Brunner, University College London (UK)
16.00 - 16.15 ‘The Role of Nutrition in the Prevention of Cancer’
E. Riboli, International Agency on Cancer Research (Italy)
16.15 - 16.30 Nutritional Science: Emerging Issues’
J.H. Cummings, University of Dundee, (UK)
16:30 - 17.00 Discussion
17.00 -  17.30 Coffee Break

Working Party 2 : Nutrients & Foods
A Framework for Food-Based Dietary Guidelines in the European Union.
Chair : M.J.  Gibney.
17.30 - 17.50 Presentation by B.M. Sandstroem (Rapporteur)
17:50 - 18:05 ‘Food Availability and Consumption Data’
L. Serra-Majem, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
18:05 - 18:20 Analytical Approaches to Food-Based Dietary Guidelines’
C. Leclercq, National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research (INRAN)
18:20 - 18:35 ‘An Example of the Development of FBDG’
J.M. Kearney, J.M. Gibney, IEFS, Trinity College Dublin
18:35 - 18:45 ‘A European Food Consumption Survey Method’
D.C. Welten, K.F.A. Hulshof, J.H. Brussaard, M.R.H. Lowik ,TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute,
18.45 - 18.55 ‘A Mathematical Model as a Tool to Derive Nutritionally Balanced and Need-Oriented Dietary Recommendations’
H-JF Zunft, G Ulbricht University of Potsdam
18.55 - 19.05 ‘The DAFNE (Data Food Networking) Databank
A Tool for Monitoring Trends in Food Habits in Europe’
A. Trichopoulou, University of Athens (Greece)
19.05 - 19.30 Discussion





Friday 19th May

Working Party 3 : Foods & People
Towards a Public Health Nutrition Strategy in the European Union
to implement FBDGs and to Enhance Healthier Lifestyles.
Chair : M. Sjostrom.
09.00 - 09.15 Presentation by L. Stockley
09.15 - 09.30 ‘Cost Effectiveness Issues in Relation to the
Implementation of EU Food Based Dietary Guidelines’
E. Brunner1, D. Cohen,2 L. Toon1,
1University College London, (UK). 2University of Glamorgan
09.30 - 09.45 ' Promoting Physical Activity: 2 case studies in 2 settings ‘
J. de Rycker, Raffinerie Tirlemontoise. (Netherlands)
09.45 - 10.00 ‘School Meals, a Key Element for the Implementation of Dietary Guidelines in the School setting’
C. Perez Rodrigo, Department of Public Health, (Spain)
10.00 - 10.15 ‘Breastfeeding in EU and EFTA Countries-Rationale and Prevalence
A. Yngve, M. Sjostrom, Karolinska Institutet, (Sweden)
10.15 - 10.40 Discussion


10.40 - 11.10 Coffee Break

Working Party 4 : People and Policies
Policy, Trade, Economic and Technological Aspects
of Improving Nutrient Intake & Lifestyles in the European Union.
Chair : J. Hautvast.
Session Rapporteur*


11.10 - 11.30 Introduction of report by Mike Rayner (Rapporteur)

Invited Commentaries

11.30 - 11.40

‘Healthy nutrition: for all people or for every person?’
J.P. Laplace, I.N.R.A. (France)

11.40 - 11.50 ‘Putting policy into practice’
T. Lang, Thames Valley University, (UK)
11.50 - 12.00 CIAA views
D. Taeymans CIAA
12.00 - 12.50 Plenary discussion


13.00 - 14.00 Lunch Break

14.00-15.30  Poster Presentations & Discussions

15.30-19.00  Case Themes : Parallel Sessions


Fruit and vegetables
Chair : Maureen Edmondson (CIAA).
Rapporteur : Aileen Robertson (WHO)
15.30 - 16.30 Panel Presentations:
  • Health perspectives of higher vegetable and fruit intake in Europe.
    Franz Kok ,Wageningen University (NL)
  • Developing food-based dietary guidelines – fruit and vegetables as a case.
    Liisa Valsta National Public Health Institute (Finland)

  • Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption.
    Barrie Margetts, University of Southampton (UK)

  • Increasing children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables.
    C.F. Lowe et al, University of Wales, UK.  Presented by Tim Lang, Thames Valley University (UK)

16.30 - 17.30 Open Forum
17.30 - 18.00 Coffee Break
18.00 - 19.00 Conclusions



Chair : Kaare Norum, University of Oslo, (Norway)
Rapporteur : Tim Lobstein, IAFCO & The Food Commission (UK)
15.30 - 16.30 Panel Presentations:
  • Obesity and diabetes.
    Arne Astrup, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, (Denmark)

  • Dietary alpha-linolenic acid for prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
    Serge Renaud , INSERM (France)

  • Derivation of food-based dietary guidelines.  Examples for dietary fat using dietary survey data.
    Wulf Becker, Swedish National Food Administration, (Sweden)

16.30 - 17.30 Open Forum
17.30 - 18.00 Coffee Break
18.00 - 19.00 Conclusions



Physical Activity
Chair :  Michael Sjöström,  Karolinska Institutet (Sweden).
Rapporteur : Ken Fox, University of Bristol (UK)
15.30 - 16.30 Panel Presentations:
  • Health benefits of physical activity.
    Lars Bo Andersen, University of Copenhagen, (Denmark)

  • Consumer attitudes to physical activity, body weight and health among EU populations.
    John Kearney, IEFS and Trinity College, Dublin, (Ireland)

  • Recommendations for primary health care to promote healthy physical activity.
    Seppo Miilunpalo , UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, (Finland).

16.30 - 17.30 Open Forum
17.30 - 18.00 Coffee Break
18.00 - 19.00 Conclusions



Vitamins and Minerals
Chair :  Ian MacDonald University of London, ILSI Europe.
Rapporteur : Ibrahim Elmadfa, IFEW,  University of Vienna (Austria)
15.30 - 16.30 Panel Presentations:
  • Adequate intakes of vitamins and minerals: foods, food fortification or supplements?
    BrittMarie Sandström The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (Denmark)

  • An example of an integrated programme to increase consumption of folic acid in women of childbearing age.
    Lynn Stockley, Food & Nutrition Consultant (UK)

  • Vitamins and minerals in foods : legislative aspects.
    Basi Mathioudakis, European Commission (DG SANCO)

16.30 - 17.30 Open Forum
17.30 - 18.00 Coffee Break
18.00 - 19.00 Conclusions





Chair :  Mike Gibney. IEFS and Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland)
Rapporteur : Philip James.  Public Health Policy Group, IASO/IOTF. (UK)
15.30 - 16.30 Panel Presentations:
  • Dietary effects on dental diseases.
    Aubrey Sheiham , University College London, (UK)

  • Carbohydrates guidelines based on food consumption. Losing ground to fats?
    Lluis Serra-Majem, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)

  • Promoting carbohydrates (including fibre).
    Johan de Rycker, Tiense Suikerraffinaderij N.V. (Belgium)

  • Barriers and opportunities at a European level for the implementation of dietary guidelines in relation to carbohydrates.
    Mike Rayner, University of Oxford (UK).

16.30 - 17.30 Open Forum
17.30 - 18.00 Coffee Break
18.00 - 19.00 Conclusions


20.30 Conference Barbecue


Saturday 20th May

Closing Plenary
Chair : M.J. Gibney
09.00 - 11.00 Report Back on Case Theme Workshops.
  • Fruit and Vegetables : A. Robertson
  • Fat : T. Lobstein
  • Physical Activity: *
  • Vitamins and Minerals: I. Elmadfa
  • Carbohydrates : Phillip James


11.00 - 11.30 Coffee Break
11.30 -13.00 Closing Remarks
Conference Outcomes and Conclusions.



15.30 -17.30

The Danone Nutrition Evaluation Tool (D@NUT®)
Presentation by Dominique Lanzmann
Round Table Discussion



Sunday 21th May

09.30 - 13.00 Eurodiet Steering Committee Meeting




Poster Presentations