A record audience attended the annual Dairy Council Nutrition Lecture at the Ulster University this year. More than 250 nutrition students, academics and health professionals came together virt-ually to hear Professor Adam Drewnowski, Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, speak on ‘Healthy diets from sustainable food systems.’
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines a sus-tainable diet as one that takes into account nutrition and health, economics, society and the environment.
Professor Drewnowski, who is at the forefront of research to establish which foods and dietary patterns are healthy, affordable and sustainable, highlighted that milk and dairy foods score well as affordable, appealing and nutrient dense sources of high-quality protein and key micronutrients.
Dr Mike Johnston MBE, Chief Executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, which has supported the lectures since the partnership began over 30 years ago, said that growing interest in climate change and interest in how it is being addressed helped to drive registrations.
He said: “One of the features of each of the previous lectures is that they reflected current nutritional interest and scientific research. Given the growing importance of climate change, it is entirely appropriate that this year’s lecture should provide a nutritional perspective on this important global issue.
“In his lecture Professor Drewnowski highlighted the im-
portance of diets being afford-able and appealing, as well as being nutrient dense sources of high-quality protein and key micronutrients.
“In addition to ticking all these boxes, the Northern Ireland dairy sector also has a good track record in reducing its environmental impact, and is constantly striving to do more.”
The annual event hosts leading researchers from universities around the world who deliver lectures on contemporary issues and emerging research within the field of human nutrition. Professor Sean Strain OBE, Emeritus Professor of Human Nutrition, Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Ulster University, said that he was delighted the event could be delivered despite the challenges presented by Covid-19 restrictions:
“I’m delighted that Dr Mike Johnston, the Chief Executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, wished to hold the lecture this November as usual. I’m very grateful to the Dairy Council for their sustained support over such a long period of time. This lecture is one of the highlights of our academic calendar.”