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Contact Eric Mittenthal or Jania Matthews at 202-296-6540 or media@foodinsight.org

International Food Information Council Foundation Highlights Importance of Science-Based Communication for Reduction of Diet & Physical Activity Related NCDs

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin Keynotes Global Diet & Physical Activity Communications Summit

September 19, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     

(New York, NY, September 19, 2011) –Leading experts from around the world gathered in New York today to give their insights and best practices for the use of science-based, behavior-focused communications in order to motivate individuals and families to achieve healthful, active lifestyles, with the goal of helping to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“NCD messaging has to include effective science based behavior focused communication; communications that are clear, useful and motivating to the intended audiences,” said U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin during her keynote address.

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s Global Diet and Physical Activity Communications Summit: “Insights to Motivate Healthful, Active Lifestyles” was held simultaneously with the historic 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).  In response to a United Nations request to civil society organizations, the IFIC Foundation has encouraged the United Nations to emphasize the importance of science-based behavior-focused communication.

“Consumers need validated, clear, consistent, and implementable guidance when it comes to health and nutrition advice,” according to David Schmidt, President and CEO of the IFIC Foundation. “All food and nutrition communicators, including government, media, health and fitness professionals, educators and industry must collaborate so that messages can be effective and actionable to the fullest degree.”

Today’s Summit highlighted expert perspectives on:

  • How consumer behavior impacts how we communicate on lifestyle changes;
  • The importance of communicating energy balance to reduce obesity;
  • The challenges of communicating to today’s consumer, and;
  • How to apply effective risk communication to motivate healthful and active lifestyles.

“Communicating effectively on the relationship between diet and health is a critical component in changing the behaviour that leads to diet-related diseases,” said Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle Executive Director, European Food Safety Authority. “Eurobarometer surveys – the tool by which we measure public opinion in the EU – have shown that lack of information and/or contradictory information are a barrier to healthy eating.”

The International Food Information Council Foundation is committed to providing context on NCD communication between now and 2014 as the United Nations continues its plans and revisits the issue. A report from today’s Summit will be submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal.

To view speaker quotes from the International Food Information Council Foundation Global Diet & Physical Activity Communications Summit, click here.

For more on the International Food Information Council Foundation’s resources or any other questions, please contact the Foundation media team at 202-296-6540, Mittenthal@ific.org or Matthews@ific.org.

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s mission is to effectively communicate science-based information on health, nutrition, and food safety for the public good. The IFIC Foundation is supported primarily by the broad-based food, beverage and agricultural industries.  Additional information on the Foundation is available on the “About” section of our Website

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